After the Hardik Pandya’s blasted warm-up game against Bangladesh with an unbeaten 80 off 54 balls in number 6, skipper Virat Kohli confidently said that “We have ticked all the boxes going into the tournament. We back Kedar and Hardik to do it for us down the order.”
Hardik like Kedar Jadhav, who forms one-half of India’s lower-order power-hitting requirements with scores of 40, 19 and 56 against England in the three ODIs in January, got the nod to do the job in England as well.
However, to help him he took advice from one of the India’s best ODI finishers in MS Dhoni. Pandya feels that the biggest factors in tackling situations under the pressure are to have good mental makeup.
Talking about the tips that he got from Dhoni’s, Pandya said “I still remember one incident when I asked him how to finish the games. And he said that you need to make sure you look at the scoreboard. You need to make sure you see the situations and play accordingly.
“That way I have noticed that you don’t put pressure on yourself. Because you want the team to win, that’s the motive. So you don’t have your own personal thing that you have to do something special, that pressure is not on you.”
“You just have to focus on what you can do for the team and play according to the situation. So that was a big which he gave me and which eventually helped me.”
Talking about the challenges where he tackles in different conditions, Pandya said “When the clouds are there, the ball is swinging and batsmen are in trouble. When it’s bright and shiny, it’s a flat track. It’s the first time I have seen something like this.”
He added, “I thought when I went out to bat, it was cloudy and that I had to take some time. We all know that once you spend time on the England wickets, you can score in the end. That was the plan and I had a chat with Mahi bhai as well. He said the same thing. If you can take some time at the start, later on the runs were there to come.”