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One of those games where it didn’t click for us: Hardik Pandya

Pandya isn't affected by the 11-run loss and is raring to go in the 5th ODI.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya of India.. (Photo by Philip Brown/Getty Images)

Hardik Pandya is quickly becoming the new heart rob of India. The talented all-rounder announced himself on the big stage when he played a maverick knock of 76, though in a losing cause against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final. His ability to perform the dual roles of a batter and a bowler equally well set him apart from the wide number of upcoming cricketers in the country.

Conversation with Dhoni in 4th ODI

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The Baroda all-rounder is widely tipped to play the finishing role with the bat in the years to come. MS Dhoni, who precedes Pandya in the batting order these days, has been giving inputs to Pandya on how to go about his business while trying to close out an innings. Recently, both big-hitters were involved in a crucial 43-run sixth wicket partnership against the West Indies in the fourth ODI. Dhoni battled through tough periods to record his slowest half-century in ODI cricket: off 108 balls. With Pandya in company, things were looking very smooth for India before the 23-year old walked too far across the stumps only to be bowled by skipper Holder’s yorker.

“The conversation (with Dhoni) was simple. The power which we both have, we can chase any total – it’s just that we got to stay there. You can’t win a game sitting outside, it’s very important that you take the game deep and make sure that you read the situation. We were doing pretty fine but as I said, it was unfortunate that I shuffled a lot and I got out.”

Pandya unperturbed by the loss

India has been severely criticised for losing against a lowly West Indies, who even failed to participate in the Champions Trophy because they currently do not feature in the top 8 ranked teams in ODI cricket, a prerequisite for the tournament. Pandya, however, considers the 11-run loss an aberration, terming it an off day. He caveated a warning to the home side that the Indians will come hard at them in the fifth and final ODI at Sabina Park in Jamaica.

“Things were going pretty right. When I got out it was 29-ball 31 runs, which on any given day we’ll take it. It was just one of those games where it didn’t click and it didn’t turn out to be our game. I felt that things were pretty alright. We’re just going to be fearless and express ourselves (in the fifth ODI). Eventually, when you express yourself you play your best cricket,” said Pandya.

Promising Pandya

In 16 ODIs so far, Pandya has a high batting average of 41 and an overwhelming strike rate of 135 after scoring 289 runs with the willow. He has also fetched 18 wickets with his pace bowling at an economy rate of 5.50, which is considered fair in today’s day and age of cricket.

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