Srinagar: Fans and Former cricketer Aakash Chopra have lashed out at Team India skipper Hardik Pandya for the selfish act of denying youngster Tilak Varma fifty in third T20I vs West Indies on Tuesday.
In the third ODI on Tuesday Hardik Pandya smashed a six with two runs remaining of 13 balls, while Tilak Varma was unbeaten on 49 against West Indies.
In the match India beat the hosts by 7 wickets in Guyana to stay alive in the five-match rubber.
Suryakumar Yadav scored brilliant 83 and Tilak Varma delivered yet another strong performance, scoring an unbeaten 49 off 37 balls in the chase.
Many fans expressed their frustration at Tilak being denied a chance to reach his second-successive fifty in the West Indies series; with two runs needed off 13 balls, captain Hardik Pandya smashed a six against Rovman Powell, delivering India the win in Guyana.
Fans argued that Hardik could’ve let Tilak take the strike to let the latter reach his fifty – a sentiment shared by former India opener Aakash Chopra as well.
On his official YouTube channel, Chopra insisted that there was no pressure related to Net Run Rate (NRR), and India still had 13 balls to score two runs.
“Tilak Varma, outstanding. First Indian to get 30+ scores in his first three international innings. He scored a fifty in his previous games and was close to another this time too, in fact, it should’ve been a fifty. His temperament is good, his range is good, he was aggressive at first and then was happy to play second-fiddle to Suryakumar,” Chopra said.
“Hardik comes to bat, tells him it’s important to remain not out, don’t get carried away. Then Hardik hits aggressive hits… you don’t need NRR, it would’ve made no difference. He told Tilak to go easy, but tried to hit big shots himself. You needed 2 runs off 13 balls, and he smashed a six. I’m sure they want to build a culture that doesn’t care about individual milestones. But even a not out doesn’t really matter here, even if you were out there, you still had 12 balls there to score 2 runs. Tilak was denied a chance to score a fifty. That’s just my opinion, though,” said the former opener further.
India will return for the fourth T20I – yet another must-win game for the side – on August 12 in Florida.