Team India supporters abused Hardik Pandya on social media following his contentious calls during the second T20I against New Zealand in Lucknow on Sunday.

The fans were particularly severe in their analysis of his captaincy during the match at the Ekana Stadium in the Uttar Pradesh capital.

Hardik Pandya being the skipper had the right to give any bowler the ball he wanted, but he chose to stick with himself and bowled his full quota of four overs.

This riled the Indian Cricket Team’s admirers who launched an expletive-laden criticism of Hardik Pandya on Twitter.


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Hardik Pandya’s move to persist with his fast bowling baffled several Team India supporters as the pitch at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow was a slow-turner and even part-time spinners were gripping the ball by a fair deal.

Against this backdrop, Hardik Pandya’s tactic of handing Yuzvendra Chahal the ball for only two overs, especially when the latter had given the Men in Blue their first breakthrough with the wicket of Finn Allen in the fourth over, wasn’t appreciated. Moreover, Yuzvendra Chahal was the most economical bowler in the clash, going for only four runs in his two overs.

Despite such outstanding figures, Hardik Pandya chose to complete his four overs and didn’t bring Yuzvendra Chahal back for a second spell.

The Gujarat-born cricketer’s move was panned by former India cricketers Aakash Chopra and Gautam Gambhir who said that Hardik Pandya missed a trick by not bringing back Yuzvendra Chahal into the attack.

“Only spin was on, from both sides. Even the spiders don’t spin the web as much, that was the story. Both sides wanted to bat first. The Indian team made a change – played Yuzi Chahal in place of Umran Malik,” Aakash Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

“The pitch was turning so much but still, Yuzi bowled only two overs. He conceded just four runs in his two overs and picked up one wicket. The opposition could score only 99 runs. The ball started turning from the first ball and we asked why was it spinning so much,” Aakash Chopra added.

“There was a question there. You got [Deepak] Hooda, Washi [Washington Sundar] and Kuldeep [Yadav] to bowl. You could have got Chahal also to bowl his full quota of overs. I feel it should have been done. Fast bowlers – of course, Hardik [Pandya] bowled his full overs, Shivam Mavi and Arshdeep [Singh] also couldn’t bowl their full overs,” Aakash Chopra opined.

“Chahal is your No.1 spinner in the T20 format. Asking him to bowl only two overs where he got the wicket of Finn Allen and not using his quota of four overs makes no sense to me. Yes you want to give chances to young guys line Arshdeep Singh and Shivam Mavi. But then you could have bowled Chahal in the last or second-last over,” Gautam Gambhir told Star Sports.

“For me, Hardik missed a trick as Chahal could have helped India bowl New Zealand for around 80-85. On this kind of a wicket, you don’t want to let the opposition off the hook. But then again, I was surprised after Deepak Hooda was asked to bowl four overs and not Chahal,” Gautam Gambhir explained.

The match in Uttar Pradesh turned out to be a low-scoring thriller. Batting first New Zealand put 100 runs on the board, with every Indian bowler barring Shivam Mavi picking up at least one wicket.

In reply, India managed to finish off the game on the penultimate delivery with Suryakumar Yadav hitting the winning boundary.

After the match, Hardik Pandya panned the pitch, calling it a “shocker of a wicket”.

He added that while there was a tense atmosphere outside, he and his players were confident about coming out on top in the match.

“I always believed we will finish the game,” Hardik Pandya said at the post-match presentation ceremony. “It went quite deep, but that is how it is. These kind of games, it is important to not panic. Rather than taking risks, we rotated the strike. having said that, this is a shocker of a pitch. We need to make sure we have better pitches. Even 120 would have been a winning total here. We kept to our plans, we made sure they will not rotate the strike, and the wickets kept falling. Dew didn’t play much of a role because if you see they were able to spin the ball more than us. It was a shocker of a wicket. The ball was flying for even the fast bowlers.”

The T20I series decider between India and New Zealand will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.