New Delhi: After a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Australia in the fifth and final ODI in Nagpur on Sunday, India skipper Virat Kohli said in the post-match presentation that the 'Man of the Series' awardee Hardik Pandya has turned out to be the "biggest asset" for the squad.
Hardik has indeed been splendid throughout the ODI series against Australia. His match-winning knock in Chennai, which in fact turned out to be his career-best in ODIs and then again in Indore where he stepped in as a No.4 batsman was astounding. A total of 222 runs in four innings and along with that six wickets made him the player-of-the-series.
"Hardik Pandya is the biggest asset (from the series). Selection dilemma is always a good headache for me as a captain because it's always better to have plenty to pick from and take the best 11 possible," the skipper said.
Kohli also praised pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, who, a few days back was tagged as the best death-bowling duo by Aussie skipper Steve Smith.
"Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar) and (Jasprit) Bumrah have been outstanding for us. When Umesh (Yadav) and (Mohammad) Shami got their opportunity they were pretty good as well. And those two wrist spinners (Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal) in the middle overs were too very good," he said.
India thereby finished off the series 4-1 and regained top honour in the ICC ODI Team Rankings. Not only so, it was their sixth consecutive bilateral series win.
"I thought it was a really convincing series win. We've ticked all the boxes. We have been put under pressure, and we have come back four times to win four games. Lots of positives to come out of this series," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony here.
After a stunning ODI series against the team from Down Under, the Men in Blue will take on Smith's army in a three-match T20I series that will take off from Saturday, October 7, in Ranchi.