Pandya is a game changer, says Dhoni

Pandya is a game changer, says Dhoni

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes that in young Hardik Pandya they have found a “game changer” who with his all-round ability has given him the freedom to experiment.

Pandya’s cameo of 31 off 18 balls at No 6 changed the complexion of the game as India cruised to a 45-run victory over Bangladesh on Wednesday.

“Yes you can call him a game changer because he is an all-rounder and T20 is all about all-rounders. He has the ability to hit from the first ball which is a tough skill set to possess. He can give you 2-3 overs sometimes even four, so it allows me to try a lot of things,” Dhoni said.

“The credit also goes to Rohit (Sharma). He paced his innings very well and also rotated the strike well. When he got set, he went for his big shots.”

The Indian captain was also appreciated the role of experienced Ashish Nehra who returned with impressive figures of 3-23.

“The beauty of Nehra is that he knows what needs to done. There was doubt when he was selected because of his fitness but then the 20 over format suits him. Fifty overs would have been difficult for him. This only goes on to show about his discipline,” he said.

On his own fitness, Dhoni said he could properly assess it when he wakes up on Thursday morning. The captain was seen adjusting the bandage on his back while keeping the wickets. “The back is stiff. It is not easy to convince everyone that you can last for 20 overs. I will get to know how my back is when I wake up tomorrow morning. The body is still warm today,” he said.

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza felt they lost the game in last five overs of India innings when Rohit and Pandya went hammer and tongs. “We did a good job of curtailing India till the 15th over but the game slipped in the last five overs.
  Shakeeb’s drop of Rohit was part and parcel of the game. You may say it affected the outcome of the game but then he is one of our best fielders,” he said.

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