Hardik Pandya has blasted the critics who questioned him for not picking Umran Malik and Sanju Samson in India’s T20I series against New Zealand. The talismanic all-rounder has stated he has no concern about what others say, and he is picking the best lineup after discussing it with the coach.
India enjoyed a 1-0 win in the three-match T20I series against New Zealand after the third T20I in Napier ended in a tie via the DLS method. However, many former players and experts criticized the Men in Blue’s stand-in skipper Hardik Pandya for not giving an opportunity to someone like Umran Malik and Sanju Samson and going with Shreyas Iyer and Bhuvneshwar Kumar instead. Unsurprisingly, Hardik did not like when the same question was asked to him directly at the post-match press conference.
The stylish Indian all-rounder clarified that he has no concern about what others think, especially at the international level. He went on to say that India is his team, and he selects the best playing XI after having a chat with the head coach. He also mentioned the recent New Zealand series was a short one, and when there will be longer assignments, the youngsters will have their chances to prosper.
"Pahli baat toh bahar kaun kya bol raha hai usse ye level pe fadak nahi padta. Ye meri team hai,ht coach aur mujhe jo theek lagega, jo side hume chahie hoga (hum wo khilayenge). Bohut samay hai. Sabko muka milega aur jab mauka milega lamba milega. Agar bada series hota, zyada matches hote toh obviously opportunities zyada hote. Ye chhota series tha, main zyada chiop and change mein believe nei karta aur age bhi believe nei karunga. (First things first, who is saying what outside, doesn't really affect us at this level. This is my team and I'll pick the best side after discussing with the coach. There is ample time. Everyone will get their chances and when they do, it will be a long run. This was a small series, if we had more matches then we could have tried out more players)," Hardik said in the press conference, as quoted by Hindustan Times.
Notably, India only had a full 40-overs game in the second T20I, which they won comprehensively by 65 runs. They will now play a three-match ODI series, beginning on November 25 at Eden Park, Auckland.