Sydney [Australia], November 27 (ANI): After having a splendid performance with the bat in the first ODI against Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground, India all-rounder Hardik Pandya shed light on fatherhood and admitted that a "lot has changed" in his life after the birth of his son Agastya and that the change has been for better.
Pandya, returning to the international circuit after the gap of more than a year, smashed 90 off 76 balls but failed to put his side over the line as it suffered a 66-run defeat while chasing a monumental target of 375.
The visitors were never really in the game except for a brief stage when opener Shikhar Dhawan (74) and Hardik Pandya (90) put on 128 runs for the fifth wicket. The top half of the innings had left a lot to be desired even though openers Mayank Agarwal and Dhawan did get off to a flier and added 53 in the first five overs.
Pandya and Dhawan did look to counter and keep wickets in the bag, but the ever-increasing asking rate saw them both perish as they looked to take on Zampa. With Pandya dismissed in the 39th over, it was all about completing the formalities for the hosts. In the end, India was restricted to 308/8 in their 50 overs.
On July 30, Hardik had shared the news of his fiance Natasa Stankovic and him becoming proud parents following the birth of their first child -- Agastya. The couple got engaged in Dubai on January 1.
"It is a different feeling now. Obviously, after becoming a father, you automatically become calmer and you think about life in a different way. My perspective towards my family has changed, as a person I have changed and I think the change has come for the better. I'm missing them and waiting for going home. I left him (Agastya) when he was 15-day-old and now when I will return he will be 4-month-old," Pandya said in a virtual press-conference after the match.
"A lot has changed but all for good and it was the best time of my life," he added.
The hosts won the toss and opted to bat first. Skipper Aaron Finch (114) and Steve Smith's (105) tons guided the hosts to a mammoth 374/6 in their 50 overs.
Defending the target, leg-spinner Adam Zampa joined Josh Hazlewood with the ball to derail the Indian batting line-up. While Zampa finished with figures of 4/54 from his 10, Hazlewood picked three from his 10 overs and gave away 55 runs.
Both the teams will face-off in the second ODI on Sunday. (ANI)