'What a beast': India hero's 'wonder bat' stuns cricket world

Hardik Pandya, pictured here after India's win over Australia in the second T20.
Steve Smith congratulates Hardik Pandya after India's win over Australia in the second T20. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Hardik Pandya is the talk of the cricket world after blasting India to a dramatic final-over victory over Australia on Sunday night.

A rampaging Pandya scored 42 off 22 balls at the SCG, where his 28-minute blitz blasted the tourists to a six-wicket win and unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match T20 series.

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Facing Aussie debutant Daniel Sams in the final over, Pandya smacked two sixes to send India to victory.

While his ice-cool finish left the cricket world in awe, many noticed an intriguing detail about the bat he was using.

With India needing 25 runs off the final 12 balls, Pandya made the stunning call to change his bat after playing and missing at two-straight deliveries.

The gutsy call paid immediate dividends as Pandya whittled the target down to 14 off the final over.

The gun all-rounder heaved the second and fourth balls of Sams’ final over beyond the rope to secure victory, with India finishing 4-195.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan called Pandya the “next global superstar” of cricket, while others sang the praises of his bat change.

“Pandya and that wonder bat. What a beast,” Usman Khawaja wrote on Twitter.

Retired Aussie cricketer Callum Ferguson wrote: “Unbelievable hitting from @hardikpandya7! We need to get some stats on that bat... It doesn’t miss”.

Hardik Pandya has found his bat of choice

Pandya addressed the ‘wonder bat’ after the game.

“I am trying to figure out my bats now. My match bat got broken in the first ODI which I was playing for the last three years, so the whole series, all these five games, I have been trying to figure out which bat I should bat with,” he said.

“This one looks alright.”

A caretaker captain’s knock of 58 from Matthew Wade, which ended prematurely after a bizarre mix-up with Steve Smith, helped the understrength hosts compile a total of 5-194 after being asked to bat.

Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer, pictured here celebrating India's win over Australia.
Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer celebrate India's win over Australia at the SCG. (Photo by Matt King - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Aaron Finch, David Warner, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Ashton Agar - all part of Australia's first-choice T20 side - were unavailable for a variety of reasons.

Master chaser Kohli threatened to personally march India to another victory, only to become a memorable maiden wicket for Sams in the 17th over of the innings.

But Pandya and Shreyas Iyer were undeterred and steered their side to a memorable victory.

“He played well at the end. It was an incredible spectacle,” Australia coach Justin Langer said of Pandya.

“We know how dangerous he is ... it was a great innings.

“India's experienced T20 players were too good for us.”

with AAP

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