Hardik Pandya addressed a press conference after the first T20I against Australia. He was the top scorer for India playing a blistering knock of 71* on 30 balls and took India to the massive 209. He is in good form since IPL 2022 and has played some match winning knocks.
When asked Is he willing to bat up the order, he said, “I see my role at No 5. I have been told to bat at five and I bat at five. There’s no rocket science in it. I enjoy wherever and whenever I get an opportunity to bat. Batting is very close to my heart, so as many balls I can get I don’t mind. If I get to bat 10 balls, that is also fine.”
“I know I have had a lot of good days lately but even on my good days, my focus is how can I get better. The kind of career graph I have had, I don’t make a big deal of my performances or my failures. I have scored 0s as well but I have stayed neutral. I had a good game today but this game’s done and I have to be ready for the next game and make sure I am ready for something new they might target. Always be one step ahead.”
India’s bowling has been a major area of concern with Indian bowlers not able to defend scores over 170 three times in last four matches. Hardik believes Bumrah absence is one of the key reason and his return in next match will be a big boost for the bowling line up.
“We all know exactly what Jasprit Bumrah brings to the side and how important he is for us,” he said. “There will be concerns here and there (but) we have got to trust our boys. These are the best fifteen people who are there in the country, that’s why they are there in the squad. Jasprit being there makes a big difference, obviously, but… he is coming back after an injury so it’s important to get enough time to come back and not put a lot of pressure on himself.
Chasing a huge 209, Australia needed 55 off the last four overs, and still they got over the line with as many as four balls to spare. Bhuvneshwar and Harshal conceded a lot too many in the last overs but Hardik believes team will get better with learnings from this match.
“See we can’t pinpoint anyone. It’s a game,” Hardik said. “They have also conceded 24-25 run overs and it didn’t matter. It’s a bilateral series, we will get two more games and we will try to get batter. As a team, we want to get better. Losing teaches you a lot and where we can get better. We are a process driven team and by the time the World Cup comes, we will make sure and get our processes better and see where we can improve. I am very confident about the guys. Few games here and there don’t change much.”