Former South Africa cricketer AB de Villiers has echoed broadcaster Harsha Bhogle’s perspective on the significance of individual milestones in T20I cricket. Bhogle recently shared his thoughts on social media, addressing the controversy surrounding Indian captain Hardik Pandya’s decision to hit a winning six during the 3rd T20I against the West Indies on August 8, which left Tilak Varma stranded on 49 runs.
The contentious issue revolves around Pandya’s choice to strike a six, clinching victory for India while denying Tilak Varma the chance to complete his half-century. The incident has triggered a heated debate among fans and analysts, with criticisms directed at Pandya for prioritizing personal milestones over team success.
In the match held on August 8, 2023, India triumphed over the West Indies by seven wickets. Nevertheless, the victory was overshadowed by the controversy stemming from Pandya’s action. As the game was about to conclude, Varma stood at 49 runs, with India needing only two runs for victory.
Rather than allowing Varma to secure the winning runs and reach his half-century, Pandya chose to hit a six, concluding the match and leaving Varma one run short of his landmark. This move by Pandya garnered widespread disapproval from both fans and experts, who voiced their discontent on various social media platforms.
Bhogle shared his perspective on the matter via a tweet: “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 recorded in individual stats in T20 cricket. If you have made enough runs quickly enough (avg and SR), that is all that matters.”
Thank you thank you thank you. Finally someone says it!
— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) August 10, 2023
Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra also expressed surprise over Pandya’s decision to hit the winning six with 2.1 overs remaining in the chase. Chopra, however, noted that Pandya’s action might have conveyed a message to the T20I team regarding the team culture he aims to foster.