Ahead of the first ODI against Australia on Friday (March 17), Hardik Pandya stressed that the bilateral series are as competitive as ICC tournaments and they will not try anything new in the home series.
Pandya further stressed that the 'Men in Blue' are not going to distress over their performances in the ICC tournaments in the past, as they haven’t had success in a decade now despite doing well in bilateral series. The star all-rounder said that they can all only learn from the bilateral fixtures.
Notably, Pandya will lead Team India in the first ODI against Australia to be played at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday, as the regular skipper Rohit Sharma will miss the match due to family commitments.
Hardik Pandya said at the pre-match press conference: “I don’t think we have tried anything new. We will be trying to be a little brave which I think in the last couple of series we have done quite well. All these bilaterals are as challenging, they can get as close to the wire as they can.
That is the only way we are going to learn and start playing under pressure of knockouts (in ICC tournaments). (But) we don’t need to look at that right now, the past is past and we are hoping for the best things to come.”
Speaking on the workload-management related calls made by the team management, Pandya stated: “We have to have faith in our strength and conditioning coaches. I am a guy who trusts his team. These calls of workload, who should play when, who should not play, that is completely on the guys who are professionals and it is their call.”
The stand-in skipper added, “All these guys are confident that if they miss out on some matches, then they miss out. It’s okay. That’s the confidence we have. If someone misses out because of workload management, this management has shown confidence and trust in the players. I think that’s the reason players who have gone out have come back with a lot of security.”
When he was asked if he is ready to bowl a full quota of 10 overs, the 29-year-old all-rounder said: “Whatever the situation requires, I will do it.”
While the ODI series against Australia ends on March 22 and just one week after the players will involve in the IPL 2023, starting from March 31 and Pandya said that the players are used to such scheduling.
The star all-rounder explained, “We all are professionals and this is not the first time we are playing the IPL. This is going to be my ninth or 10th and almost everyone has been around for far too long. Playing for the country is a different honour and pride so that does not even come into question.
To be very honest, I had to think about this question for the first time because I don’t think any individual has got this thought of motivating more because the IPL is around. IPL is IPL, how we take it series by series, even the IPL will be the same.”
Pandya made it clear that he is not going to play in the final of the ICC World Test Championship Final, as he wants to first earn his place in the team before stepping into the format.
He signed off by saying, “No. I am ethically very strong person. I haven’t done 10 per cent to reach there. I am not even a part of one per cent. So, me coming there and taking someone’s place will ethically not go well. If I want to play Test cricket, I’ll go through the grind and earn my spot. Hence, for that reason I will not be available for the WTC final or future Test series until I don’t feel that I have earned my spot.”
(With PTI Inputs)