India registered a thumping five wickets win in the third ODI of the ongoing series and sealed the 5-match series 3-0, with two more matches to play. Hardik Pandya gave a good all-around performance and won the man of the match award.
He dismissed David Warner with a brilliant off-cutter when the Aussie batsman was looking very dangerous in the middle. And, in the batting department, he scored 78 runs off just 72 balls.
Pandya was promoted to number 4 position in the batting order and he made full use of the opportunity that was presented to him. He took some time initially but once he got his eye in, Pandya batted in his trademark style and smashed Australian bowlers all around the park.
In the post match press conference, Hardik Pandya was asked how his six hitting skills improved after the final of ICC Champions Trophy 2017, in which he smashed Pakistani spinners all around the stadium. But, Hardik Pandya said that he has been hitting sixes since childhood.
“If you want to think that way, you can, I have no problems. I played well in the IPL before that. Last year’s IPL wasn’t great for me, so I worked hard, and the form came back.”
“And I used to hit sixes before too, it’s just that I am hitting them at a higher level now. I have been hitting sixes since childhood otherwise,” Pandya told reporters at the post-match press conference.
“So whatever you say, if you say Pakistan changed my game, then so be it I have no problem,” he added.
Further talking about his ability to hit sixes at will, Pandya said that he likes to get his eye in and read the situation before making the shot selection.
“It’s not just about hitting. It’s pretty important that I read the game. That time (in Chennai) I thought that Zampa was bowling and I knew that I could hit a six off him anytime I wanted to. That’s why I waited till the seventh over and then I got the opportunity to change the momentum and eventually one over changed the momentum in that game,” he said.
“I tried and it came out pretty well. That’s just my thinking. It’s about being positive and backing yourself. If I feel like, I go for it. I read the situation and go for it,” Pandya said.
He also said that batting position does not make any difference in his game. He like playing his natural game at any position.
“It does not make any difference where I bat,” Pandya asserted.
He also said that batting at number 4 was a great opportunity for him to something for the team.
“Rather than seeing this as a challenge, I see this as an opportunity to do something nice for the team. When I was told I was going to go out to bat next, I was happy. This is the first time I played so many balls, so it was great,” he said.
“The message was always simple. Play your game, however you play. I can play all kinds of innings. Obviously the plan was to target the spinners and it came out pretty well.”