Wed, 27 Sep 2023

Basseterre [St Kitts and Nevis], August 3 (ANI): Star Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya said on Friday that responsibility adds more to his game and makes him think more, which adds value to his game.

His words come after India's brilliant win in the third T20 against West Indies on Tuesday. A brilliant half-century from Suryakumar Yadav and his stand with batter Shreyas Iyer powered India to a seven-wicket win over the hosts.

"It is a privilege to get an opportunity to be the vice-captain. Rohit gives you a lot of flexibility and freedom, which has been his strength throughout his stint as a captain, whenever I have played with him. A lot of credit goes to him and Rahul Dravid (head coach) for the way they have got the team together and making sure that a lot of positive mindsets comes in," said Pandya at a press conference.

"At the same time, players are feeling secure. They are not looking over their shoulders, making sure they are getting ample chances. That is commendable. Captaincy. I have always enjoyed the responsibility and it has added more and more to my game. Whenever I have taken a responsible role, It has added a flair to my game. It makes me think more and when I think more, it adds value to my cricket," he added.

On Team India's win and Suryakumar Yadav's knock, Pandya said that the win was important and the latter is an exceptional player.

"Today he played some amazing shots. The wicket was not that easy compared to the way we were bowling. A lot of credit goes to him. He has worked hard, he is getting his due late in his life. God is kind to him and he is getting it maximum," he added.

The all-rounder said that the credit for the team's aggressive approach goes to captain Rohit Sharma, who has given players freedom and does not worry about the results. But rather, he is focused on trying new things, making mistakes and learning from them.

Pandya said that he enjoys bowling and is aware of the balance he brings to the team with his bowling.

"That is the reason why I thought I should take some time off to make sure my bowling comes in because when I am bowling, it gives a nice balance to the team. It gives a lot of confidence to the captain. I used to be a filler earlier, coming in when someone was not bowling well. I can proudly say now that I can bowl four full overs as a third or fourth seamer and contribute as equally with the ball as I do with my bat," he added.

Regarding the changes in his game over the last one year, Pandya said that he has made sure that his routine made during the last six months does not change and he keeps cricket as his priority.

"A lot of things are looking good since results are coming my way. But for me, it is the approach which I am following. I have understood that if you enjoy life and are in a positive frame of mind, eventually a lot of times results go your way. For me, it is not about the results, it is how I take the game on, how smart am i thinking and how I use conditions and situations which are offering me something with a bat or ball," he added.

The five-match series is currently in hands of India by 2-1.

West Indies posted a total of 164/5 in their 20 overs, thanks to a superb half-century from Kyle Mayers, who scored 73 off 50 balls with eight fours and four sixes. Other batters like Nicholas Pooran (22) and Rovman Powell (23) also posted some notable contributions.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was India's pick of the bowlers with a spell of 2/35 in four overs.

Chasing 165, Indian captain Rohit Sharma got retired hurt while batting. Then Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav put on a superb stand which powered India to a victory. Yadav scored an amazing 76 off 44 balls. Rishabh Pant also played a solid knock of 33 off 26 balls.

Yadav was adjudged as the 'Man of the Match' for his brilliant half-century, his fifth in 20 T20I innings. (ANI)

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