Bristol: Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya credited Rohit Sharma for the team’s comprehensive win in the series-clinching third and final T20 International against England here Sunday evening. Pandya said it was a ‘special innings’ from the elegant batsman after two ordinary outings. Rohit’s third T20 hundred saw India over the line comfortably.
“Rohit played amazingly well. He was outstanding and won the game single-handedly for us. We expect that from him. I haven’t seen anyone hit the ball as hard as Rohit,” Pandya told reporters at the post-match press conference.
“Not having two good games and then coming back to play such an innings, it is special. It shows the confidence players have in this team, in themselves,” added the all-rounder.
Pandya too played a major role with both bat and ball. He first picked up four wickets to restrict England and then hit a 14-ball 33 to lend support to Rohit. In spite of Pandya conceding 22 runs in his first over, he returned to pick up four wickets in his next three overs for only 16 runs.
I’ve never really thought of myself as an individual performer. If I concede 50 runs and the team win, then so be it. But yes, contributing helps me maintain my place in the squad
“To be honest, I see the T20 format as a funny game,” Pandya said when asked about his feelings after his first over. “You need to back yourself. After getting hit for 22, I was still normal. If you come and bowl the right lengths, and take wickets on this kind of pitch, eventually you will stop runs,” asserted the player.
“My focus was to make sure that I bowled different type of balls rather than just bowling yorkers because bowling length was the key. With the straight boundaries very short, I kind of mixed up things,” he added.
Pandya said that every game was a learning experience for him. “I am learning from every game. I’ve made sure that I keep on learning from my mistakes which are helping my game to flourish,” he pointed out.
Asked if this was his best performance for India in the shortest formats, Pandya said, “You can say so. Stats prove that. But I would have been happier if I had not gone for 22 in the first over.”