INDvsNZ: Hardik Pandya doesn't mind
Image: BCCI

INDvsNZ: Hardik Pandya doesn’t mind “taking game deep,” play MS Dhoni’s role in Indian team: Team India T20I skipper Hardik Pandya, during the post-match presentation after defeating New Zealand in the third T20I, said, he doesn’t mind taking the game deep and playing the role which MS Dhoni used to fulfil during his time. He said after he scored a valuable 17-ball 30 run innings in the series decider at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Hardik mentioned that he has grown so much as a T20 cricketer that he can don any shoes and play in resonance with the team’s requirements.

“I’ve always enjoyed hitting sixes. But that’s life, I’ve to evolve, said Hardik Pandya. “I’ve believed in partnerships and I want to give my batting partner and my team some assurance and calmness that I’m there. I’ve played more games than any of these guys, I’ve learnt how to accept and swallow pressure and make sure everything is calm.”

The senior all-rounder said he wants to lead his side from the front and he always looks forward to taking on new roles and responsibilities.

“Maybe I have to get my strike rate down for that. Taking new roles is always something I look forward to. I want to take the new ball role too, because I don’t want anyone to come and take that difficult role. If they’re under pressure, then we are chasing the game. I want to lead the front. I’ve been working on my new ball skills,” said Pandya.

During the third T20I against New Zealand, even though Hardik was striking the ball effectively, he fed most of the deliveries to Shubman Gill, who was well set, playing the second fiddle. He was dismissed at 30 run score and managed to notch up a strike rate of 176.47.

“I don’t mind playing the role that somewhere down the line, Mahi used to play. At that time, I was young and hitting all around the park. But since he’s gone, all of a sudden, that responsibility is onto me. I don’t mind that. We are getting the results. It’s okay if I have to play a little slow,” said Hardik in the post-match presentation.

The 29-year-old, now, is often seen taking the new ball for the Indian side and has experienced a little success over there as well. Since the beginning of the home season, Hardik has bowled 12 overs in the powerplays conceding 86 runs and adding two wickets to his tally.

Hardik Pandya was adjudged Player of the Series for his sublime performance in the T20Is. Hardik scored 66 runs in three matches with his bat and scalped five wickets in the T20I series.

India won the three-match T20I series against New Zealand after getting hammered in the first T20I. The hosts made a commendable comeback in the next two games to finish on the winning side.

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