Cricket commentator and presenter Harsha Bhogle has slammed those degrading Team India T20I skipper Hardik Pandya for denying Tilak Varma his 50 in the 3rd T20 international against West Indies, and in doing so, has found the backing of former South Africa and Royal Challengers Bangalore batter AB de Villiers.
For the unversed, Hardik has copped a lot of hate from netizens and former cricketers alike, after he slammed Rovman Powell over long-off for a maximum to finish things in style at Providence Stadium, Guyana, as Tilak (49* off 37) remained unbeaten at the other end with 13 deliveries still left in the game.
Majority of the cricketing audience had labeled Hardik selfish, accusing him of unfairly denying the left-handed batsman his second consecutive T20 international fifty.
Harsha, Ab de Villiers defend Hardik’s decision
Harsha Bhogle, however, wrote yesterday in defense of Hardik Pandya’s decision to finish the match himself, insisting that milestones do not matter in T20 cricket and the only thing that counts is if the player leaves an impact on the game.
“I am puzzled by the discussion around Tilak Varma missing out on a 50. It isn’t a landmark, in fact other than a century (which is rare), there are no landmarks in T20 cricket. We’re too obsessed with individual achievement within a team sport. I don’t believe 50s should be recorded in individual stats in T20 cricket. If you have made enough runs quickly enough (avg and SR), that is all that matters,” Harsha Bhogle said in his tweet on Thursday.
I am puzzled by the discussion around Tilak Varma missing out on a 50. It isn't a landmark, in fact other than a century (which is rare), there are no landmarks in T20 cricket. We are far too obsessed with individual achievement within a team sport. I don't believe 50s should be…
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 10, 2023
Former Protea and RCB legend AB de Villiers also echoed the same opinion on the matter, and thanked Harsha for being the first renowned figure to say it in public.
Thank you thank you thank you. Finally someone says it!
— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) August 10, 2023
Notably, Hardik himself has been low on runs in recent times and the match-winning maximum may have helped boost his own confidence. It also reinforces the ruthless approach that India has now adopted in the shortest format of the game.