“We Might Lose a Game…”: Hardik Pandya’s Stunning Response To Question On Giving Axar Patel Last Over In 1st T20I

Going ahead, India’s new T20 captain Hardik Pandya is eager to see how his team tackles difficult situations as he seeks to mould it into an outfit capable of ending the country’s barren run in world events. Under Hardik’s leadership, India began the three-match T20 series against neighbours Sri Lanka on a winning note, prevailing over the islanders by two runs here on Tuesday. Hardik had to leave the field for a brief while after taking a catch.

“It is just cramps. Now I have tendency to scare people. I did not sleep well, did not drink enough water and hence the glutes were stiff. I was unwell and I had my fluids down,” Hardik said at the presentation ceremony.

With Sri Lanka needing 13 runs in the last over to overhaul India’s total of 162, the decision to give spinner Axar Patel the ball was a bit surprising.

“We might lose a game here and there but it’s alright. I want to put this team in difficult situations because it will help us in big games. Bilaterals we are very good at and this is how we are going to challenge ourselves.

“To be honest, all the young guns got us out of the situation today.” One of the youngsters who shone bright on the night was debutant pacer Shivam Mavi. The skipper was full of praise for the fast bowler, who picked up 4/22 in his first T20 outing.

“The conversation was very simple, I have seen him (Mavi) bowl well in the IPL and I know what are his strengths, just back yourself and don’t worry about getting hit.

“I just told him to simply bowl. I told him, ‘I am backing you. Even if you get hit, it’s fine.’ If the same situation is there, I will take the new ball.” He added, “I have been bowling in the nets with the new ball since I returned in the IPL. I have learnt how to swing it back.” Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka said the visitors ought to have won the game.

“It was (our game to lose). Really disappointing with the way we finished. In Wankhede you need the batsmen to help you cross the line.

“I use the matchups really well and that’s the reason we restricted India to 162. It is still the first game and they (batters) are really good bunch of youngsters, they will come good,” Shanaka said.

Mavi said he has been waiting for the last six years to get into the senior Indian team.

“Was waiting for six years after playing U19. Had to work hard in those six years – got injured as well. For a while it looked like my dream will remain a dream. But I kept at it.

“Having played the IPL, the nervousness is a little less. My idea in the powerplay is to attack and get them out. Favourite dismissal was the first one, getting him bowled,” Mavi said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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