Hardik Pandya, India’s star all-rounder, believes he can now bowl his complete four overs in T20Is while serving as the third or fourth seamer. India’s T20I squad has primarily consisted of just 5 bowling choices, including Hardik because none of their first-choice top-five batters can bowl. Hardik has occasionally been used as an extra bowler who can contribute a couple of overs if required, but he thinks he is now able to contribute more.
“I have always enjoyed bowling whenever I was bowling. That was the reason I had felt I should take some time off so that my bowling came in. I have realised that when I bowl it gives a lot of balance to the side, it gives a lot of confidence to the captain,” Hardik Pandya stated following India’s seven-wicket victory against West Indies at Warner Park in Basseterre.
“I used to bowl as a filler before in between if someone was not bowling, now I can probably say that I can bowl four overs as a third or fourth seamer where I can contribute equally as I do with my bat.”
The comeback of India’s Star All-rounder: Hardik Pandya
Hardik’s bowling comeback began in the IPL 2022 when he bowled 30.3 overs in 10 innings for Gujarat Titans at an economy rate of 7.27. He stated that he had been working on adding some variations in his bowling after being hit a few times.
Pandya has scored runs with an average of 31.62 and managed to maintain a good strike rate of 136.75 in 11 innings since his comeback to National duty. He stated that he is not looking to bat in a specific manner, but rather to respond to the circumstances he finds himself in. And if that meant defending it for a while, India’s vice-captain for the West Indies T20I series was ready to do so because the team management had given him permission.
“In bowling, It took me some time to understand my strengths and weaknesses. In T20 I got whacked a couple of times. But this sport is about that. If someone hits you and you are strong enough, chances are you are going to learn something. For me it was about how I could stop the batter from hitting me, and I was able to add more variations to my bowling and now I think it is coming pretty alright.”
“The coach and captain have given me the freedom to bat the way I want to. That gives you a boost if your coach and captain show that much faith in you.
“Very privileged to be the vice-captain… I have always enjoyed responsibility and it has added more and more to my game because it makes me think more, and when I think more, it adds more value to my cricket.”
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