Hardik Pandya Reveals Rahul Dravid's Message That Turned Around Fortunes For Him In T20 WC

3 weeks ago 71

Hardik Pandya in post-match presentation ceremony© X (Twitter)

Hardik Pandya's downward spiral started last year against Bangladesh in a 50-over World Cup game but the star all-rounder always believed that fortune favours the brave if they hang around. First it was back-to-back injuries that kept him out for four months and then a very rocky two months in the IPL as MI skipper, there was no silver lining for India's best all-rounder in contemporary times until this T20 World Cup, where regained his mojo.

“I have been fortunate to play for the country, it was a freak injury I had, I wanted to come back but God had other plans,” Pandya said after scoring a 27-ball-50 and taking a wicket in India's 50-run victory over Bangladesh.

Incidentally, it was against Bangladesh, albeit in a different World Cup format, Pandya walked away with an injury.

“I was speaking to our coach Rahul sir (Dravid) and he said 'Luck comes to people who work hard' and that has stuck with me for a long time,” Pandya, who won the Player of the Match award this day, said.

“We have played really good cricket. More than anything we have stuck together and executed our plans.”

Earlier, Pandya's half-century and contributions from Virat Kohli (37), Rishabh Pant (36) and Shivam Dube (34) took India to 196 for 5 after being put into bat.

He had predicted at the break that it would be enough.

“Wicket looked alright, par would've been 180, we got 196. That's a good score here,” Pandya told broadcasters at the innings break.

He also praised Dube, who has so far struggled, for playing a composed innings under pressure.

“At the point Shivam went (in), a couple of wickets were lost. He had to take his time and we did well to recover. His strength is to take down spinners.

“When the time came, when we could go hard, we went (after their bowling) after that,” Pandya said.

The star all-rounder believed that the pitch would get slower as the match progressed.

“Definitely it tends to get slower in the end, some balls were sliding down when bowled at the right length, discipline and good bowling should do the job.”

There was a lot of cross wind blowing across Sir Vivian Richards Stadium and Pandya spoke about using the breeze.

“I did realise the batters wanted to use the breeze, I made sure I did not give them a chance where the wind was blowing, it was about being one step ahead as a batter.” Pandya did agree that there is room for improvement as a batting unit.

“We as a group can get better in a lot of places, losing wickets in bunches is something we can rectify and get better at, apart from that, we are looking good.”

Ashwin's take on individual scores 

Meanwhile, senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, also one of the most astute analysts among active international cricketers, said time has come for fans to look at the impactful 20s and 30s as good contributions rather than milestone half-centuries or centuries.

“We are not used to an approach where batsmen throw it away after making 30's 20's, but it is about time we embrace an approach like this especially while batting first.

"Top Intent from all the Indian batters so far,” Ashwin wrote on X about India reaching nearly 200 with just a single half-century and three contributions upwards of 30.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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