India had already sealed the T-20I series during the fourth T-20I. The last and the final T-20I made the steelyard heavy towards India by 4-1. Indian spinners robbed all the 10 wickets, this finishing with an 88- run win against the West Indians. The regular skipper Rohit Sharma was rested that day, with Hardik Pandya filling that chair.
India put a score of 188 on the board by losing 7 wickets. Credits go hugely to Shreyas Iyer who opened that day alongside Ishan Kishan. Shreyas Iyer scored 64 runs off 40 balls, with eight fours and two sixes. After he left it was Deepak Hooda who took responsibility a bit. He added 38 runs on the board, while Hardik Pandya contributed with a short cameo of 28 runs at the end.
Hardik Pandya and Captaincy interrogations
Since Hardik Pandya‘s comeback to competitive cricket, he has been in the talk of India’s full-time captaincy. He passed the test at his best in the last edition of the Indian Premier League too. He led the newly formed Gujrat Titans to its maiden IPL trophy.
Hardik Pandya was not only the winning captain of Gujarat Titans but an important contributor to the team. The bloke played 13 matches and scored 413 runs at an average of 41.30 and was the highest scorer for his team. It includes four half centuries with his highest score has been 87 not out. Moreover, with the ball, he has been impressive too, but bagged 8 wickets for his team, with an economy of 7.27.
Hardik has been playing purely as a batter due to his lower back injury. But, after he regained his full fitness, he is back to being a massive booster in the blues.
Hardik Pandya has been receiving appraisals for his tactical acumen and bowling changes too. As a result, facing questions about full-time captaincy is a new normal for him. But yes, he made it clear, that Asia Cup right now, is his ultimate focus. Hardik clarified in the post-match interview that,
“Very special to get a chance to lead your country. And getting that chance and getting that victory means a lot to me as a captain and an individual. I was just following our captain’s roles.”
When the question came, “Do you see yourself as a permanent captain?“, Hardik answered,
“Yeah, why not? If I get an opportunity, I’ll be more than happy to do that. But for now, we have a World Cup and Asia Cup now so we need to focus on that and use our skillsets there.”
Moreover, Hardik had played the responsibilities of a captain against Ireland too, earlier this year. India sealed the series by 2-0.
Pandya praises India’s pool of talented youngsters, set to witness their aggression ahead of the World T-20I
Pandya was in absolute praise on the pool of Indian youngsters. With the way, they are playing, and their style, he believes that he already have got an idea of the upcoming show of aggression ahead of the T-20I World Cup.
“The kind of talent the players have and the freedom we have. This is the new India how they are playing. They are expressing themselves well, and when you have freedom you get more dangerous. “Credit to management and whole group to make that environment. They are not worried about whether they won’t get picked or whether they will get dropped.”
Hardik even gave an idea about the preparations for the 20-over tournament in Australia. He said,
“Absolutely close. Just got to know how to keep getting better. Pressure and environment wise we are ready but in this sport you never stop learning.”
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