Since making his debut in October last year, Hardik Pandya has become an integral member of the Indian ODI side. Initially considered as a fourth seaming option, the 23-year-old has done extremely well and cemented himself as the third bowler in the ongoing series against Windies. In the four ODIs so far, he has picked up 5 wickets.
Speaking after India’s loss in the fourth ODI, Pandya was happy with his progress. “I’m pretty happy with the way things are going for me. I’ve been working hard on both the bowling and the batting. I’m trying to keep it simple and things are turning out pretty well,” Pandya said on Tuesday (July 4).
“You need to (mix you’re lengths), it’s more of a batsman’s game now so you need to have some variations where you can come up with different deliveries. I feel that it’s important to bowl six different deliveries. I try to keep it simple but when you know that the batsman is coming after you, you need to bowl different deliveries where you can outplay the batsman, you think slightly ahead of the batsman.
“In my 16-game career, I’ve realised that the batsmen will come hard at me. Instead of thinking that they are going to hit me I look at it as a chance to get them out. It always gives you the opportunity when they come hard at you, you have the opportunity to get them out. In that way I’m getting wickets. There are days when I get hit as well, that’s normal, that’s cricket in the end. But I always take it as a challenge,” he said.
Pandya has found success with the bat too in recent times, and with Kedar Jadhav, has adopted the role of the finisher in the side. His single-handed effort against Pakistan in the 2017 Champions Trophy final is one of several examples where he has performed well. Though he could not do the job for India in the fourth ODI against Windies, he views them as learning experiences that can only help him get better as a cricketer.
“I feel that you should be brave enough to do things. I back my game, I back myself, I see the situation and I like to play accordingly. I don’t count myself as a one-dimensional player. I feel that I should see the scoreboard and play accordingly. That’s how I’m going to learn cricket and that’s how I’m going to make sure that I finish the games,” he said.
“I’ve been known for my sixes but I’ve played those (hard-working) innings as well. Throughout my life I’ve batted at a number where I can just go out and hit from the first ball. In the last game the situation required me to play for singles, which I was doing. Unfortunately, I got out but my plan was always that I should finish the game, take the game deep,” Pandya added.