Makes no difference where I bat: Hardik Pandya

Wednesday, 27 Sep, 2017

His 72ball 78, which had five fours and four sixes, gave India a comfortable five-wicket victory and sealed the series for the hosts. "I mean you can't score everyday but yeah, backing yourself is pretty important". I tried it and it came out pretty well.

"And I used to hit sixes before too, it's just that I am hitting them at a higher level now". Incidentally, even John Wright, the former India coach and a talent scout for Mumbai Indians, was also in attendance for the match and it didn't come as a surprise that Pandya was signed up for his base price of Rs. 10 lakh in the auction a few weeks later.

It was Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane who provided India the early impetus, racking up 139 runs for the opening wicket. (In Chennai) when Zampa was bowling, I knew I could hit a six off him anytime I wanted.

Steven Smith finally managed to win a toss and without any hesitation made a decision to bat first on a good batting surface. Kohli also revealed why Pandya was sent in the middle. "That's why I waited till the seventh over and then I got the opportunity to change the momentum and grabbed it with both hands", the all-rounder pointed out.

Staying put at the crease, Pandya slog swept Agar's first delivery for a six over the deep mid wicket region.

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It (batting at No. 4) does not make any difference where I bat. Rather than seeing this as a challenge, I see this as an opportunity to do something nice for the team. This is the first time I got the chance to play so many balls, so that was great.

If it was leg-spinner Adam Zampa who bore the brunt during Pandya's rescue act of 66-ball 83 while walking in to bat at 87 for five in the first match in Chennai, he took Agar to cleaners on Sunday after walking in to bat exactly halfway into the chase of 294 after the set openers had perished in quick succession.

"It's only about how you play different situations". While Pandya is generally known to go hammer and tongs at the bowling, he showed great maturity in the last ODI in Indore and played a subdued knock.And the current India A coach feels that Pandya deserves credit for playing according to the situation and the demand of the team. Pandya's bowling too is getting better with each outing. "Obviously the plan was to target the spinners and yeah, it came out pretty well". We needed 330 plus, Hardik was magnificent in the end there. I can play all kinds of innings.

However legendary spinner Bishan Singh Bedi believes India have not been tested by opposition teams, barring the Champions Trophy final in June against Pakistan which they lost by 180 runs. And now Kapil Dev has become the latest legend to join the Pandya-fan club.