India all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Tuesday (August 2) praised skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid for giving the players more freedom, security and most importantly ensuring communication.
Pandya’s comment came after India’s seven-wicket victory over West Indies in the third T20I in St Kitts. He played a key role in the visitors’ win, returning with the bowling figures of 1 for 19 in his four overs as the Men in Blue secured a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
“Ro gives you a lot of flexibility and freedom which is his strength throughout his captaincy stint whenever I have played with him,” Hardik said in the post-match press conference.
“Here as well, a lot of credit goes to him and Rahul Dravid the way they have got the team together and making sure a lot of positive mindset comes in and players are feeling secure; they are not looking over their shoulder; making sure they are getting ample chances; they are getting told as well if they are not playing, and that is something which is commendable.”
India’s aggressive batting approach failed in the second T20I in St Kitts as they got bowled out for 138 in 19.4 overs and lost the match. However, the defeat didn’t push the tourists back as the captain had told the players that they would keep trying different things bearing the T20 World Cup 2022 in mind.
In the ongoing T20I series against West Indies, the Indian team has made quite a few experiments. One among them has been opening the batting with Suryakumar Yadav, who slammed 44-ball 76 and earned the Player-of-the-Match in the third game.
“The way we are putting bowlers under pressure, even they are thinking that this Indian team, even if it is 10 for 3, will not look to play out the 20 overs,” Pandya said. “It is thinking that how can we reach 190 even from here. That attitude is making this team look more dangerous, and we will try to continue that.
“About the approach, credit again goes to Ro and the coach. We were all having a chat about how we should go about the slow wicket, do we still want to continue this style of play, and he gave us the freedom, saying that you know what, forget about the results, we are trying something new, we are going to make mistakes, we are going to learn from it, but what we have been doing for five-six years, we are going to go away from that, and make sure that we try everything and all options that are available, and when it comes to the World Cup, we’ll know how to play.”
(The Indian Express inputs)