Hardik Pandya has shared his happiness on his match-winning 78-run knock yesterday and stated that he is confident enough to hit sixes whenever he wants to hit them. The Baroda batsman has also thrown some light on his hitting prowess, saying that this has been his game since childhood.
Hardik Pandya’s ability to hit big shots effortlessly makes him one of the finest prospects for team India. In fact, the frequency with which he hits them will instil fear in teams that plan to bowl spin to him. After Adam Zampa in Chennai, Ashton Agar got first-hand experience at Indore as he was hit for four sixes as India cantered to an unassailable 3-0 lead in Indore. The youngster from Baroda has not only delivered with the bat, he also bailed the side out of precarious situations time and again with the ball, which makes him a vital weapon in the Indian side.
“As I always say, it’s important to back yourself, and in cricket, confidence always matters and I’m confident that I can clear the ground (whenever I want),” Pandya quipped after the game.
“It’s not just about hitting. It’s pretty important that I read the game. (In Chennai) when Zampa was bowling, I knew I could hit a six off him anytime I wanted. But I waited
The all-rounder had batted under pressure in the Champions Trophy final against Pakistan earlier this year when he counter-attacked Pakistan to score 76 runs off 43 balls in a dwindling chase at The Oval. Pandya, however, refused to identify that knock as the turning point of his career.
“If you think that was my turning point, then you are most welcome, but I think I played quite well in the IPL before that too. Last year’s IPL wasn’t great for me, so I worked hard, and came back to form. And to be honest, I used to hit sixes before too, it’s just that I am hitting them at a higher level now. I have been hitting sixes since childhood!”
Due to the solid foundation laid by the openers, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma, India had cruised to 147 for 2 in 23.3 overs when Pandya walked out to bat at the No.4 position. The required rate had fallen to less than five and a half, and the hosts were comfortably placed. That gave Pandya sufficient time to adjust to the situation well.
He pointed out that by saying, “It does not make any difference where I bat. Rather than seeing it as a challenge, I saw it as an opportunity to do something nice for the team. When I was told I was going to go out to bat next, I was happy. This is the first time I got the chance to play so many balls, so that was great.
“The message was always simple. Play your game, however you generally play. It depends on the situation, I can play all kinds of innings. Obviously, the plan was to target the spinners and yeah, it came out pretty well.”