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Hardik Pandya: Attack is best defence

Updated on: 23 November,2022 08:31 AM IST  |  Napier

India skipper Hardik Pandya happy with aggressive route for Duckworth-Lewis method-caused tie in third and final T20 against New Zealand; visitors were gasping at 75 for 4 in Napier

Hardik Pandya: Attack is best defence

India players celebrate their three-match T20I series triumph over New Zealand in Napier yesterday. Pic/PTI

India skipper Hardik Pandya said “attack was the best defence on this wicket” as his unbeaten 18-ball 30-run cameo helped India end the rain-hit final T20I against New Zealand in a tie via Duckworth-Lewis method here on Tuesday.

Chasing 161 to win, India were struggling at 21 for three in 2.5 overs but Pandya smashed three boundaries and a six to take the visitors to 75 for four, which proved to be at par with the DLS score when the match was called off due to rain.

The two teams thus shared the honours with India clinching the three-match series 1-0, courtesy their 65-run win in the second game on Sunday.

The opening game was washed out without a ball being bowled in Wellington.

“Would have liked to win the game by playing the full overs, but it is what it is. At some point, I felt attack is the best defence on this wicket,” Hardik said during the post-match presentation.

“We know the kind of bowling attacks they have, it was very important to get those 10-15 runs extra even though we lost a couple of wickets. 

“A game like this could have given us an opportunity to test some of the players, but having said weather is something we cannot control. I’m going home, taking my time off and be with my son.”

New Zealand were 130 for two in the 16th over but the duo of Arshdeep Singh (4-37) and Mohammed Siraj (4-17) triggered a collapse as the Kiwis were bowled out for 160 with two balls to spare.

Defending the total, New Zealand reduced India to 21 for 3 in 2.5 overs.

Siraj was adjudged the Player of the Match, for snapping 4 for 17 runs.

Also Read: India win rain-marred T20 series after third match ends in tie

Hardik: I am a people’s man

Meanwhile, assuring that he is a people person, Hardik Pandya is confident that he has the skills to take along players, who he is forced to bench due to combination compulsion.

But he understands that people don’t like sitting in the bench and there needs to be frank conversations where both captain and the player are able to express themselves. 

“It’s not difficult to handle the situation where players feel security. I share a cordial rapport with all players and the players I am unable to pick, there is nothing personal and even they know it. It is because of combination I am not able to play them,” he said.

“I am a people’s man and if anyone feels otherwise, my doors are always open to come and have chat with me. I understand their feelings. Sanju Samson is an unfortunate case. We had to play him but for some strategic reason, we couldn’t play him,” Pandya was frank in his admission.

“If players are feeling bad, they can come and speak to me or the coach. 

If I remain the captain...

“Going forward, if I remain the captain, I don’t think that will be an issue. My behaviour and nature ensures that we are a close-knit unit,” he remarked. 

Brief scores
New Zealand 160 all out in 19.4 overs (D Conway 59, G Phillips 54; M Siraj 4-17,  A Singh 4-37) v India 75-4 in 9 overs (H Pandya 30*, S Yadav  13; T Southee 2-27) Match tied (D/L method)

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