Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra feels West Indies player Jason Holder’s dismissal of Hardik Pandya was the game-changer in the first T20I between India and the West Indies. The Windies set a 150-run target after opting to bat first in Tarouba, Trinidad, on Thursday, August 3. The hosts then restricted India to 145/9 to register a thrilling four-run win and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series as well.
While reviewing the game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “Who was the Player of the Match? Jason Holder was given the award and I would say it was the right call because the wicket Jason Holder took of Hardik Pandya, it came at just the right time. It was the game-changing moment.”
He also added that India were in a comfortable position while going into the final five overs of their innings. He also stated that Hardik Pandya and Sanju Samson seemed all set to take the team home before Holder turned the table. However, India needed 37 runs off the final five overs with six wickets in hand. But Pandya’s dismissal and Samson’s run-out in the same over cost them the game.
He shared: “The ball came in after pitching and went and hit the stumps. The way Hardik was batting and for how long he was batting, it seemed like the match was in your grasp, because at the 16-over mark, India needed 7.5 runs per over to win. The captain was present there and Sanju Samson was at the other end. It seemed like you will turn the match easily in your favor, one big over and that would be it, but Jason Holder was absolutely outstanding. So the Player of the Match is, of course, Jason Holder.”
“Hardik Pandya looked alright but when those two wickets fell, there was no batter at No. 8. That’s the other story. The Indian team can’t do anything there because in the squad that has been picked, there is no player sitting outside who you can send at No. 8 and can bowl a little,” Aakash Chopra concluded.