The captain said „Sometimes it’s good to lose because it teaches you a lot” and was happy with how the youngsters in the team performed.
Jaffer: Hardik’s batting is a big concern
Wasim Jaffer believes the all-rounder is 'rusty’ in the series against the West Indies
Hardik Pandya took an unscripted charge after losing the series-deciding T20I against the West Indies on Sunday. The Indian captain came in the 11th over of the first innings and scored just 14 runs off 18 balls.
„If you see, we’ve lost that period after 10 overs since I’ve arrived [in to bat],” he said in the post-match presentation. „I think I wasn’t able to take advantage of the situation, I wasn’t able to take my time and finish, and I didn’t play as well as I should have.”
By the time the captain arrived in Greece, India had recovered from two wickets down. They scored 86 for 3 in the 11th over but were promptly bowled out by the West Indies. Only 20 runs came off the next 22 balls. The Indian team scored 165 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 20 overs. West Indies chased it down with 8 wickets and 2 overs to spare.
Of late, Hardik has shown a tendency to bat on time. He scored 77 runs at a strike rate of 110 in T20Is on this tour. He was better in ODIs, but 70 of his 82 from three innings came in one stroke. „It’s a concern,” former India batsman Wasim Jaffer told ESPNcricinfo’s T20 Time: Out. „He’s not a free-flowing thunderer who comes in and hits it sweetly. It doesn’t mean he hits sixes, but hits it well, rotates the strike.
„Apart from his half-century in the third ODI, he started very slowly but picked it up in the slow overs. But even then, he looked rusty. It was the partnership between him and Shubman in that third ODI, because he started. Very slowly, Shubman Gill struggled and got out at the other end. So, the way he has batted in this series is a big concern for me because he is not going to start slow every time and he is going to finish very strong. .You can see in T20s too. As soon as he comes on, the pace goes down, the strike rate goes down, it puts pressure on the other guys in the dugout. So he You have to improve without taking something for granted. When the next opportunity comes.”
As captain, Hardik made a few calls, such as not bowling Yuzvendra Chahal in the second T20I, which India lost, despite the legspinner being their best bowler with figures of 3-0-19-2.
Asked about Hardik’s thought process while deciding on bowling changes at Lauderhill, he said, „That’s how I feel at the time. I don’t plan much about it. If I see the situation and I believe, it’s the best option. I generally like it. It’s not rocket science, that It’s what my gut tells me at the time.”
India trailed 0-2 in the series, forcing it to a decider, and much of their best work came as a result of their younger players being released from international cricket. Tour debutants Yashashvi Jaiswal, Tilak Verma and Mukesh Kumar showed that they can play important roles as agenda setter, middle-over muscle and death-over specialist at the top of the innings. That was a big plus for Hardik.
„It’s fantastic, they’ve got heart,” he said. „It’s very important in international cricket. You mentioned Jaiswal, Tilak and Mukesh, but every youngster coming through shows character. They have confidence. I’ve seen that often now. Kudos. The way they came out and showed themselves, took responsibility. All the youngsters have stepped up. Hands up, I couldn’t be happier, Captain, that you know I got you.
Senior players, including captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, have been absent from India’s T20 duties since the end of the 2022 World Cup. They are building a new bench in the West Indies and the United States over the next 10 months. With this in mind, Hardik emphasized the importance of looking at the bigger picture, even if working towards that goal entails a few losses. He elected to bat in the toss on Sunday and did so with nine wickets and three overs to spare, despite India winning the last game in the chase at the same ground.
„I believe we are going to challenge ourselves as a team,” Hardik said. „All these things [bilateral] Games are the games we are going to learn. One thing the group talked about is that no matter what is difficult, let’s try and get better. In retrospect, a streak here and there is fine. It’s a long process, and I don’t think we need to explain much about it. But overall, boys are involved for a very exciting reason.
„We have enough time to figure out what to do in the T20s. Sometimes failure is good because it teaches you a lot. It doesn’t cover the mistakes you make, but on the positive side, I think. A lot of learning we learned as a team and special mention to all the boys. To be quite honest, they devoted themselves when it was just the two of us. [on Sunday] They took up some sort of challenge and showed their character throughout the series. Yes, today it seemed like a very one-sided game, but at the same time, they were smiling, they kept coming, they kept trying, winning and losing is part of the process. We should also focus on studies.
„Całkowity introwertyk. Nieprzejednany specjalista od sieci. Przyjazny fanatyk bekonu. Student ekstremalnych. Miłośnik piwa. Organizator.”