'Really thankful to him' - Hardik Pandya credits Virat Kohli after blistering knock in third West Indies ODI
India defeated the West Indies by 200 runs in the decisive third ODI to take the series 2-1.
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Hardik Pandya led the Indian team in the decisive third ODI against Shai Hope's West Indies and the team clinched the game by a massive 200-run margin to seal the series 2-1. The talismanic all-rounder was short of runs in the series after being dismissed for scores of five and seven in the first two games in Bridgetown, Barbados.
Hardik had a chance to lead to improve his form in the third ODI at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad and he did not disappoint, smashing a dominant half-century. The 29-year-old started slowly as he scored just 12 runs in his first 24 balls. However, after getting his eye in, the Baroda-born star cut loose and punished the West Indies bowlers whenever they erred in their lines and lengths.
Hardik scored his last 58 runs in 28 balls to remain unbeaten on 70 in 52 deliveries with the help of four fours and five sixes. From a strike rate of 50 in his first 24 balls, the stand-in skipper finished with a strike rate of 134.62. Speaking about his dominant knock, Hardik credited Virat Kohli for helping him plan his approach to ODI cricket, revealing that Kohli advised him to spend some time in the middle to get used to the 50-over format.
"I had a very wonderful chat with Virat a couple of days back, and the kind of input he gave me, he has seen me throughout the years. It's been almost seven or eight years of international cricket and he has seen me from day one. He had some pointers which really helped me," Hardik said in the post-match presentation.
"He just wanted me to spend some time on the crease and get used to the 50 or game as well because we have played so many T20 formats and yeah, that kind of stayed in my mind and I was just waiting for the opportunity. I'm really thankful to him as well to kind of share that experience with me,"he added.
India's next assignment is the five-match T20I series against the West Indies, beginning with the first T20I on Thursday, August 3. Hardik will be leading the side that comprises some exciting youngsters like Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tilak Varma among others.