Hardik Pandya, India’s deputy captain for the current West Indies T20I series, has credited captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid for ensuring increased freedom, security and communication for players, who “do not look over their shoulder”. Hardik Pandya added that Rohit Sharma wants the team to move away from what it has been doing for the past five or six years, under ex-captain Virat Kohli, and this is evident in the continued aggressive batting approach after the 2021 T20 World Cup.
Hardik Pandya said after India led 2-1 in the five-match series with a seven-point win. Saint Kitts.
“Here too, a lot of credit goes to him and Rahul Dravid for the way they brought the team together and making sure there was a lot of positive mentality and the players feeling safe; they don’t look over their shoulder. commendable.”
Pandya said that a day before the game, the team had a conversation about whether they should continue their aggressive hitting approach even on the slow rooftop at Warner Park in Basseterre, St. Kitts. The multi-skilled player revealed that the captain had told the players that they would keep pushing and trying different things with the 2022 T20 World Cup in mind. One of the things India experienced was opening with Suryakumar Yadav in this series, and in the third T20I Suryakumar blew the hosts in a chase of 165 with 44 balls 76 as India won with more than spare. Pandya said that India made opposing bowlers believe that they would continue to face them aggressively regardless of the outcome.
“The way we put bowlers under pressure, they even think that this Indian team, even if it’s 10 vs 3, will not be looking to play 20 matches,” said Pandya. “He’s thinking how can we get to 190 even from here. This situation makes this team look more dangerous, and we’ll try to continue that.”
“About the approach, thanks again to Ro and the coach. We were all having a conversation about how we should handle the slow wicket, do we still want to continue that style of play, and he gave us freedom, saying you know what, forget the scores, we’re trying Something new, we will make mistakes, we will learn from them, but what we were doing five to six years ago, we will walk away from that, make sure we try everything and all the options available, and when it comes to the World Cup, we will know how to play.”
Prior to this West Indies T20I series, Rohit said he did not feel that India had been playing conservative T20I cricket for the past few years, and that the only change he had made was to try to get the team to play with more freedom.