Hardik Pandya ready to take up Dhoni's finishing job

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Hardik Pandya ready to take up Dhoni's finishing job

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SportsCafe Desk

10/26/2016

With skipper MS Dhoni announcing his intention to bat up the order, Hardik Pandya is open to take up the mantle of the finisher in the Indian ODI side. The Baroda all-rounder is looking to learn the craft from the 'inspiring' duo of Virat Kohli and Dhoni, and insists that he is “ready for anything”.

"I'm pretty ready for anything, whatever number of overs I get," Pandya said, when asked about the pressures of batting in death overs.

The 23-year-old has been in fine form with both bat and ball in the ongoing series against New Zealand and came close to taking India to an unlikely win in the 2nd ODI while batting alongside Umesh Yadav.

After bringing the equation down to 11 runs off 8 balls, Pandya was dimissed while attempting a cross batted slap over extracovers. It was a shot which Dhoni himself did not approve of in that situation, but the skipper said Pandya was still 'learning' the craft.

"It will be harsh on him, he could have [because] that option is always there. You always have to target who are the bowlers you want to hit and in these kinds of situation even the last ball counts,” Dhoni said after the game.

“So it is always a good exposure for a player when he is under the pump and it always teaches you a lot. May be if that shot would have gone over point it could have been a boundary and everything would have been different. He is still learning and more often than not he will be alone along with tail.”

Pandya said he is a quick learner.

"I've actually played that shot before that as well but it was just not my day. I will learn from mistakes but I will try not to repeat that shot and experience will certainly play a role.”

The all-rounder is not unnerved by the responsibility he will need to shoulder with Dhoni moving up the batting order, and he said he is learning by watching two of the best in the business.

"As batsman whatever number I bat on, we should play according to situation. And that's a job for everyone. [If Dhoni bats at No. 4], it gives confidence for someone like me who bats lower in the order. So it's pretty good. It shows a positive intent.

“I'm enjoying watching his batting. There's a lot to learn when Dhoni and Virat Kohli bat. Their batting, the running between the wickets, it's of next level and it's inspiring.”

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