Hardik Pandya Gave An Apt Reply To Michael Vaughan's 'India Biggest Underperformer's Remark
India's star all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be seen leading the Indian cricket team in the upcoming New Zealand series in the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma, who has been rested for the series. Ahead of the series, Hardik Pandya gave an apt reply to Michael Vaughan, who had criticised Team India's approach in white-ball cricket, calling them the 'biggest underperforming' team in the history of world cricket.
Michael Vaughan's statements came after the Indian cricket team was knocked out from the semi-final of the T20 World Cup after suffering an embarrassing 10-wicket defeat to eventual champions England. In his column for the Daily Telegraph Vaughan had slammed India's top-order for scoring at just about 6 runs per over in the powerplay. He wrote:
"India are the most underperforming white-ball team in history. I am just staggered by how they play T20 cricket for the talent they have. They have the players, but just do not have the right process in place. They have to go for it. Why do they give the opposition bowlers the first five overs to bed in?"
Meanwhile, ahead of the IND vs NZ series, Hardik Pandya was asked about Vaughan's statements and the star all-rounder said that they don't need to prove to anyone but there is definite room for improvement. He said:
"Obviously when you don't do well, people will have their opinion, which we respect. I understand people have different points of view. Being at the international level, I don't think we need to prove anything to anyone. It's a sport, you keep trying to get better and eventually when the result is supposed to happen it will happen. There are things we need to work on, going forward we will rectify and work on it,"
He added: "There is a disappointment of the T20 World Cup, but we are professionals. We need to cope with it the way we cope with our success and move forward, look to get better and rectify the mistakes we made,"
The upcoming tour of New Zealand includes 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs and will not feature Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravi Ashwin, Dinesh Karthik, and KL Rahul as they all have been rested for the series. In their absence, the likes of Umran Malik, Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, and Sanju Samson have been given a chance to play for the Indian side and Pandya says the upcoming series will be an important one for them in the grand scheme of things. He said:
"The main boys are not here but the same time the talent which the guys who are already here, they have also been playing for one and-a-half, two years now," he said.
"They have had ample chances and enough time in international cricket to express themselves and show what they have. Very excited for them, new bunch of guys, new energy and excitement. Every series is important. You can't play an international game thinking its not important. Yes World Cup is there but that's a different format, it's 50 overs. But it is an important series for a lot of boys who if they eventually do well here will be able to put a strong case going forward."