Hardik Pandya, on Friday, was slammed by a female spectator during India’s second T20I match against New Zealand at Auckland for his controversial statements in last month’s Koffee With Karan episode that had created a brouhaha all over India. Pandya had marked his return to international cricket in the New Zealand ODI series after BCCI had lifted the suspension imposed on him for his remarks.
Both Hardik and KL Rahul were criticised for their sexist and misogynistic statements on the Karan Johar-hosted talk show. Amid all the backlash from veterans and all over the internet, BCCI suspended both the cricketers and sent them home. They were barred from the Australia ODI series and the tour of New Zealand. But the ban was lifted on January 24 pending appointment of an ombudsman. Hardik was flown to New Zealand and he finally made his international comeback after September 2018. His return was earlier marred by a back injury which he incurred during the Asia Cup 2018 match against Pakistan.
Hardik made an impressive all-round return in the third ODI after which even captain Virat Kohli spoke highly off him despite condemning his earlier statements. However, his performance did not manage to overshadow his words as a female spectator was seen at the Eden Park on Friday slamming his offensive words.
Hardik managed to contribute with only a wicket – off Colin de Grandhomme – in India’s convincing seven-wicket win in the second T20I against New Zealand. On the other hand, his brother Krunal seemed impressed with the ball as he castled down three Kiwi top-order batsman to finish with a figure of 3 for 28. He dismissed Colin Munro (12), Kane Williamson (20) and Daryl Mitchell (1).
The win in the second T20I helped India level the series with the decider to be played in Hamilton on Sunday. If India win on Sunday, Rohit Sharma-led side will be the first Indian side to win a T20I series in New Zealand.