India grabbed a 2-1 series-clinching victory vs New Zealand in the third T20I of the three-match series at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, on Wednesday. Chasing a target of 235 runs, New Zealand were bowled out for 66 runs in 12.1 overs. The Men in Blue created a new record for their highest-ever victory by margins of runs in the shortest format.
Indian skipper Hardik Pandya displayed a commendable all-round performance, scoring 30 runs and picking up four wickets. But he allowed the well-set Shubman Gill to do the big hitting. In terms of bowling, Hardik generated a good pace and bounce and even stepped up with the new ball and swung it. He talked about how he always wants his batting partner to be calm in his presence.
“I’ve always enjoyed hitting sixes. But that’s life, I’ve to evolve. I’ve believed in partnerships and I want to give my batting partner and my team some assurance and calmness that I’m there. I’ve played more games than any of these guys, I’ve learned how to accept and swallow pressure and make sure everything is calm,” Pandya said in the post-match press conference.
Pandya also talked about how he wants to take the difficult role and lead from the front. He said that he is ready to bowl with the new ball as he is working on that for a long time. He also said that now he has to play the role that MS Dhoni used to play.
“Maybe I have to get my strike rate down for that. Taking new roles is always that I look forward to. I want to take the new ball role too because I don’t want anyone to come and take that difficult role. If they’re under pressure, then we are chasing the game. I want to lead the front. I’ve been working on my new ball skills.”
“I don’t mind playing the role that somewhere down the line, Mahi used to play. At that time, I was young and hitting all around the park. But since he’s gone, all of a sudden, that responsibility is onto me. I don’t mind that. We are getting the results. It’s okay if I have to play a little slow,” said the India captain.