Needing 14 runs off the last over, Hardik Pandya launched an assault to take India home and reckoned that he wanted to finish the game for the team more than hitting the six. While revealing he likes to finish games off early, Pandya credited Natarajan’s bowling for restricting Australia early on.
One of the positive things that has emerged from the series against Australia has been Hardik Pandya’s brilliance with the bat. After being under the pressure of playing as a specialist batsman, the right-hander has cleared all the doubts with two match-winning knocks in three games to cement his place in the Indian team as a batsman.
Walking in at 120/3, Pandya etched a brilliant partnership with Virat Kohli chasing 195 in the second T20I of the series in Sydney. Needing 25 runs off the last two over, Pandya launched an assault with twin boundaries off Andrew Tye’s bowling and then cemented the game with a massive six in the last over to take India home. In the post-match presentation, Pandya reckoned that he wanted to finish the game for India.
“I felt (we were) two good hits (away), quite happy. More than the six I wanted to finish the game. I don't like the game going till the last ball, I like to finish the game early. I was just going to whack the ball anyway (smiles),” said Pandya in the post-match presentation.
He also revealed that his plans were concrete - to pick and choose bowlers to target in the high-scoring run-chase. While talking about the run-chase, Pandya also reckoned that his confidence comes in handy during such encounters.
“It's very simple. I like to look at the scoreboard and play so that I know which bowlers to target. I have been in these situations many times and I learnt from my mistakes in the past. My game is always around the confidence which I carry, it has that fine line where I back myself and not become overconfident.”
However, at the same time, Pandya credited the influence of Thangarasu Natarajan in the first innings, where the left-arm seamer picked up 2/20 in his four overs in what was a batting paradise.
“I always remember all those times when we chased big totals and it helps. They were batting really well and we wanted to be positive and Special mention to Natarajan as well. I thought he should be the Man of the Match, because the bowlers struggled here and he had a really good game,” he concluded.