Hardik Pandya claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket as England lost 10 wickets in one session to get bundled out for 161 at Trent Bridge on Sunday (August 19).
After a disappointing morning, things turned around for India in the post-lunch session as Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah removed the English openers in quick succession. Afterwards, it was the Pandya show as he produced a magical spell to pick up 5 wickets in just 6 overs.
Addressing the media after the end of second day’s play, Hardik said: “We were bowling the same lengths we did in the other games as well. We were getting enough swing, and situation was such that if they played a bad shot we will be up again. We had the cushion of runs under the belt as well.”
Pandya, who tore apart the English batting line-up by dismissing Root, Bairstow, Woakes, Rashid and Broad, was seen constantly chatting with the veteran pacer Ishant Sharma during his spell.
When asked if Ishant’s tips played any role in his success, Pandya said: “Big role, actually. He even told me to talk about it in the press conference. Me and Ishant keep talking about the game, I would love to improve my game.”
“As a bowling unit we keep talking because the captain has a lot on his plate. So, as a bowling unit we need to step up and think in our way as well, how to make life difficult for the batsman. He was telling me ‘don’t go for the wickets; you have the talent. If you bowl in the right areas, you are going to get wickets.’ The same thing I tell him, the same thing we tell the other bowlers -- keep it tight, let us see what they do. Let us test their patience, and see what they do. And we saw the result,” he explained.
Pandya also rated his maiden 5-fer in Test cricket higher than his first Test century that came in his debut series against Sri Lanka last year.
“More than the 100, I am happier taking five wickets. This is the second time in my life, and I have also come to a very important place (England),” he asserted.
With 124 for 2 on the board at stumps, India strengthened their grip on the match by extending their lead to 292 runs. However, Pandya feels India can’t afford to relax till they finish the job.
“They have a few important players, if you get them they get into trouble. But cricket is a funny game. You saw at Lord’s also we were equal and all of a sudden Woakes came and scored a hundred, at No 7 I guess. All are capable, that is why they play for England. I always believe till we get all 11 (10), we should not relax. They have problems, but we would like to take them as many times as we get,” he concluded.