I can now bowl four overs as third or fourth seamer, says Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya has announced that he can now hit four overs in T20Is as the “third or fourth tailor” instead of taking on a part-time role with only the ball. The multi-tiered player has sent 26 overs in ten rounds in the T20I since returning to the Indian side in June, and was the most economical bowler in his third T20I against the West Indies in St. Kitts on Tuesday, conceding just 19 throws in four times for the opening wicket Brandon King. Pandya has made a huge turnaround from the 2021 T20 World Cup, playing only four times in five matches and playing almost as a specialist hitter.

“I’ve always enjoyed bowling when I’ve been bowling. This was the reason I felt the need to take some time off to get into my bowling. I realized that when I’m running it gives a lot of balance to the side, and gives a lot of confidence to the leader. Hardik Pandya said after India won seven wickets at Warner Park in Basseterre.

“I used the bowl as a filler before if someone wasn’t bowling, and now I can probably say I can put in four bowls as a third or fourth tailor where I can contribute just as much as I do with my bat.”

Pandya’s return to bowling began in the 2022 Indian Premier League, when he sent 30.3 overs in ten rounds at an economy rate of 7.27 for the Gujarat Titans. He said he was working on adding more options to his bowling after he got hit a few times.

“In bowling, it took a while to understand my strengths and weaknesses. In T20 I got hit a few times. But this sport is about that. If someone hits you and you are strong enough, you will probably learn something. For me it was about how to prevent The bat hit me, I was able to add more variations to my bowling and now I think it will come off just fine.”

On the bat, Pandya averaged 31.62 and hit at 136.75 in 11 runs since his return to India. He said he wasn’t looking to hit a certain way, but was looking to adjust to the situation he’s walking into. And if he needed to defend for a while, India’s deputy captain for the West Indies T20I series was willing to do so because he had some leeway in managing the team.

“The coach and captain have given me the freedom to hit the way I want to. It gives you a boost if your coach and captain show a lot of confidence in you.

“It is a great honor to be the Vice Captain… I have always enjoyed the responsibility and it has added more and more to my game because it makes me think more, and when I think more, it adds more value to my cricket.”

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