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T20 World Cup 2024: Pandya's confidence in his ability was never in doubt, says Paras Mhambrey

Eyebrows were raised when it was announced that Pandya would be boarding the flight to the United States. The 30-year-old, when available, has been a game-changer under duress, but the latest edition of the IPL saw his stocks drop significantly.
Last Updated : 11 June 2024, 19:05 IST
Last Updated : 11 June 2024, 19:05 IST

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New York: India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey insisted that the team management was sure that Hardik Pandya would come good at the T20 World Cup despite a pedestrian Indian Premier League. 

Eyebrows were raised when it was announced that Pandya would be boarding the flight to the United States. The 30-year-old, when available, has been a game-changer under duress, but the latest edition of the IPL saw his stocks drop significantly. 

Besides putting up a meek 216 runs and 11 wickets from 14 games, he was also at sea as a skipper of the Mumbai Indians. It went so far that home fans began booing him every chance they got. The Indian team, however, was not giving up on the all-rounder. 

"The one thing I know about him is that his confidence in his ability was never in doubt. I knew he would not be short of confidence coming into this tournament,” said Mhambrey. “Sometimes you don’t get into rhythm as a bowler no matter what you do. You’re bowling consistently, but you just can’t get into a rhythm. It would have been worrisome if he would not work on it, rather continue to work on his bowling. So when we saw that his his work ethic was the same as always, we knew he was going to come good.

“After he got into that rhythm, you can see the difference between the IPL and this tournament,” he added. Pandya has picked up five wickets in the first two games of this tournament. 

When asked about the surfaces at the Nassau County International stadium, Mhambrey acknowledged that they were tricky to get going on, but was pleased that the bowlers were getting assistance, especially after everything they had to endure during the IPL. 

“The pitches have looked a bit better now, but the first 1-2 games, there was odd bounce. As a batter, it’s hard to go through with your shots when that happens. Sure, it’s challenging, but the bowlers are finally getting some help and that’s good too. We saw what happened during the IPL, big, big scores, so this sort of evens it out a bit.”

Speaking of India’s bowling performance against Pakistan where they defended 120 runs on a pitch which was improving with time, Mhambrey said Sunday’s performance was one the best he has been witness to in limited-overs cricket. 

“I have seen this bowling unit do exceptional things recently, especially in Tests, but this was phenomenal. The context of the game, the opposition, the tournament, the pressure… we handled it all beautifully and came out the other side,” he said. 

“There was not nearly as much help on the pitch when we came onto bowl because the sun had dried out the moisture, but we were relentless, we stuck to our plans and bowled so well. This could be one of the most complete performances we have had as a unit.” 

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Published 11 June 2024, 19:05 IST

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