When Hardik Pandya is on fire, no bowling attack can stop the swashbuckling all-rounder. He smashed a blistering 83 off 66 balls to help India recover from a top-order collapse and post a challenging 281 for 7 against Australia in their first One-day International at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday. With this knock, the 23-year-old added a unique feat to his name -- he has hit three consecutive sixes four times in international cricket this year.
Pandya had done it twice against Pakistan during the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 tournament. Playing India's opening match of the tournament against the arch-rivals, Pandya launched Imad Wasim for three back-to-back sixes.
He repeated the feat in the tournament's final too, clobbering Shadab Khan for three consecutive maximums.
Then, during the Pallekele Test against Sri Lanka, Pandya hammered Malinda Pushpakumara for three sixes on the trot.
Australia's leg-spinner Adam Zampa on Sunday became Pandya's fourth latest victim.
Pandya has posted 32 sixes in 17 innings in international cricket -- the highest by an Indian batsman this year.
This was also the second time when Pandya has recorded a fifty and bagged two or more wickets in the same ODI. He had scored 56 runs and claimed 3 for 49 against England at Kolkata in January, 2017.
Pandya has become the third Indian all-rounder to produce a 75-plus score apart from capturing two wickets vs Australia in the same ODI. He joined Sachin Tendulkar (141, 4/38 at Dhaka on October 28, 1998) and Robin Singh (75, 2/43 at The Oval on June 4, 1999).