- Hardik Pandya created history in the first T20I against Ireland
- Hardik made his captaincy debut for India
- Pandya played an important role in India's win scoring 24 off 12 while taking a huge wicket of Paul Stirling
It was a memorable day for star all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who became the 9th Indian men’s player to captain his side in the T20Is and as soon as he took the ball in his hand, he quickly registered his name in the record books. After leading Gujarat Titans (GT) to an IPL trophy in their maiden season, Hardik made his captaincy debut for India.
Hardik won the toss and chose to bowl first against Ireland in overcast conditions with rain around. It became a 12-over affair and India were on the money right from the first ball. Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave India an excellent start with the wicket of Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie and Hardik introduced himself from the other end with the new ball.
Hardik too was quick to get his name on the scorecard as he accounted for the wicket of the big fish Paul Stirling in the second over of the match. Stirling hit Hardik for a boundary early on, but the 28-year-old had the last laugh as he induced a false shot from the Irish veteran over covers and got him out cheaply.
With that wicket, Hardik created history. Out of 9 players, who have captained the men’s team in T20Is, Hardik became the first one to take a wicket for India. None of Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant have taken a wicket as a captain.
Hardik played a part with the bat too as his quickfire 24 off 12 was crucial in India chasing the target of 109 runs inside 9.2 overs and winning the first T20I quite comfortably. Opener Deepak Hooda remained unbeaten on 47 off 29 while explosive batter Ishan Kishan gave the team a perfect start scoring 26 runs off 11 balls.