Dravid's tips helped Pandya

Dravid's tips helped Pandya
Hardik Pandya seems to be the answer to India’s long-standing search for all-rounders. In a short time, the 23-year-old has taken rapid strides to make his way into the Indian squad for shorter-formats. Pandya, though, admits he is still learning. It was a productive 2016 for Pandya, where he broke into the national ranks with the Twenty20 international aga­inst Australia (January) before debuting in the ODI in October (against New Zealand). The seaming all-rounder with sprightly fielding earned the backing of the then captain MS Dhoni and a place in Indian XI for the World T20.

What followed later, though, was a forgettable Indian Premier League, where he scored a mere 44 runs and picked three wickets in 11 matches for Mumbai Indians and an axe from the Zimbabwe tour. The stint with India ‘A’ under the experienced eyes of coach Rahul Dravid then came as a rescue. “After the World T20, (in 2016), I had a slight reality check. I knew I had areas to improve, the ‘A’ tour of Australia was pretty important. I learnt a lot about my game, Rahul (Dravid) Sir helped me a lot, he spoke with me about my game as well as working on the mental aspects. Paras Sir (Mhambrey) helped me with my bowling and worked on my fitness. It was a complete package, my fitness, my bowling as well as the mental aspects of the game,” Pandya said ahead of the three T20 internationals series against England, beginning here from Thursday.

The one-day international series, preceding the T20s, proved favourable for Pandya where he scored 115 runs and, took five wickets in three matches. Pandya confessed it was an important series for him in terms of confidence. “As a player, it was important for me to believe that I belong here.” There is a striking maturity in Pandya as he reflects on his shot selection during the last ODI, which India lost by five runs.

“I shouldn't have played that shot , but I felt the asking rate was climbing and someone had to take a chance. Kedar (Jadhav) was the one who would have stayed until the end and I was the one who should take the risks. In that process, I ended up getting out but I will hopefully rectify my mistake next time around and choose the right shot.” He was also eager to play alongside veteran Ashish Nehra in the T20 series. “It strengthens (Nehra's inclusion) the bowling attack very much.”

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry