Saturday, March 25, 2023

Placing India in ‘tough conditions’ is Hardik’s precedence as T20I captain

Hardik Pandya shouldn’t be afraid of placing his aspect in tough conditions throughout bilateral T20Is, long-term positive factors being extra essential than short-term ones – he stated as a lot on the toss through the first T20I in opposition to Sri Lanka and reiterated it after the sport.

The report at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium favoured chasing sides, who had received 24 of the 41 T20s performed there within the final two years earlier than Tuesday’s recreation. So it was comprehensible that Dasun Shanaka opted to discipline after successful the toss.

Hardik, who’s main India in Rohit Sharma’s absence, was advantageous with that. “To be sincere, we have been going to bat first,” he stated on the toss. “It’s a chasing floor, however I wished our group to be challenged. In bilaterals, we wish to put ourselves in harder conditions than [we] usually [do]. So I’m joyful to bat as a result of had we received the toss, we anyway would have batted first.”

It is doable Hardik was simply taking part in thoughts video games. However it’s true that batting first has been the Achilles’ heel for India in T20Is. They’ve misplaced eight video games in multi-team T20I tournaments since March 31, 2016, after they misplaced to West Indies within the semi-final of the T20 World Cup. On all these events, they have been batting first.

Then, with Sri Lanka needing 13 from the ultimate over as they chased 163 for victory, Hardik gave the ball to Axar Patel when he himself had an over left. Chamika Karunaratne pulled Axar’s third ball for a six to deliver the equation down to 5 from three, however Axar held his nerve and did the job for India.

On the post-match presentation, Hardik was requested why he took that gamble. One motive behind that might be that Hardik was fighting cramps, however he once more talked about difficult the gamers by creating robust conditions.

“How I’m all these video games is, I wish to put the group in tough conditions as a result of it should assist us in large video games,” he stated. “Bilaterals are one thing which we’re superb at, however that is how we’re going to hold difficult ourselves. Sure, we would lose a recreation right here and there, which is ok, I’m okay with that, as a result of in the long run, it should assist us to be prepared for the massive video games each time the chance comes.”

Earlier, with India defending a below-par 162, Hardik had set the tone with the ball, sending down three overs within the powerplay for simply 12 runs. Not solely did he get the ball to maneuver away from the right-hand batters, but in addition swung it again, which was one thing new.

“For the reason that time I’ve come again within the [2022] IPL, I’ve been bowling within the nets, and I’ve been bowling with the brand new ball solely,” he stated. “I’ve labored on my swing bowling and that [the inswinger] is the brand new ball that I’ve learnt.

“I like bowling with the brand new ball as a result of it permits me to swing the ball and problem the batter. In that, if I can get a wicket right here and there, it permits me to make use of different [seam] bowlers later within the innings.”

It is not identified – although there was some debate round it – if Hardik would proceed as India’s T20I captain when Rohit Sharma returns. Nonetheless, he was requested if he was getting used to being addressed as India captain. “Now, sure, undoubtedly,” he stated with a smile.

Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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