New Delhi, April 19: All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been in great touch in the ongoing edition of the IPL. In the nine matches, he has scored 218 runs at 194.64 strike rate and has picked up eight wickets for the Mumbai Indians (MI).
On Thursday, the 25-year-old played yet another match-winning cameo of 15-ball 32 to help Mumbai reach 168/5 against the Delhi Capitals which his side successfully defended.
During the course of his inning, Pandya scored three massive sixes and two boundaries. However, one shot which stood out last night was the famous ‘helicopter’ shot — a signature shot of former Indian skipper M.S. Dhoni.
The flamboyant all-rounder played the shot in the second ball of the 20th over bowled by South African pacer Kagiso Rabada. Rabada bowled a full-length ball towards Hardik’s pads which the latter picked up towards cow corner, between long-on and deep mid-wicket position.
However, Rabada came in strong in the next ball as he dismissed Pandya.
The all-rounder had played a similar shot even in the game against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), which Mumbai Indians had won by 37 runs at the Wankhede.
Pandya revealed that even Dhoni liked his version of the helicopter shot.
“I never thought I would play the helicopter shot in a game. I’ve been practising that in the nets. I went to Dhoni’s room and asked him if he liked my version of the helicopter shot. He said it was good,” said Pandya.
Pandya, who was adjudged the player of the match, said he has been hitting the ball well and hoped to continue in the remaining games.
“I don’t think I’ve ever hit the ball better. I have been working hard in the nets and it has been coming off well for me,” he said.
“I am reading the wicket well in this season. I have five more games to go and then the play-offs, and I hope to keep going like this through the season,” he added.