Hardik Pandya, the India vice-captain for the ongoing West Indies T20I series has credited skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid for ensuring increased freedom, flexibility and communication for the players.
“Ro gives you a lot of flexibility and freedom which is his strength throughout his captaincy stint whenever I have played with him,” Hardik Pandya said after India took a 2-1 lead in the five-match series against Windies.
“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,”Pandya added.
Pandya said that the captain wants players to take an aggressive batting approach and wants the side to go away from what it had been doing for the past five-six years. He told that a day ahead of the match, the team had a discussion about whether they should continue with their aggressive batting approach even on the slow surface at Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts or not.
He further revealed that the captain has his plan straight for 2022 T20 World Cup and therefore he keeps pushing and trying different things.
The all-rounder said, “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.”
In the ongoing-series, one major change was done in the batting order. Suryakumar Yadav was seen opening the series, however in the first two matches he didn’t perform well. In the first and second T20Is, he was sent back to pavilion at just 24 and 11 respectively.
But, in the third T20I, Yadav played a match-winning 76-run knock off 44 balls including eight-fours and four-sixes. He blew away the hosts in 165-run chase as India won the match with an over to spare. Pandya said that India had put opposition bowlers under pressure, thinking that they can’t take Indian batters lightly in any situation.
“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,”he added.
Ahead of the ongoing West Indies T20I series, India captain had said that he had alhe did not feel India had been playing conservative T20I cricket in the past few years, and that the only change he had made was in trying to get the team to play with more freedom.