Chasing a firm winning target of 189 runs, the skipper led from the front, stitching together a 106-run, uninterrupted fourth wicket stand with David Miller in 61 balls to bring his side home. The all-rounder spoke about the influence of MS Dhoni, under whom he made his international debut, on his career.
“Obviously Mahi Bhai has played a big role in my life. He is a dear brother, dear friend and family to me. So for me I learned a lot of good things from him,” he said at Tuesday’s post-match press conference.
Much like Dhoni, Hardik never seemed to panic when looking at the scoreboard and paced his innings fairly well. Although Pandya is known as a hard-hitting batter, he played fairly controlled innings, hitting only five boundaries and not a single six in his 40-run unbeaten innings.
Speaking of his approach, Pandya said, “I started balancing things in my life. Even before becoming captain, I always made sure that I approached all situations with a cool head. In general, you make better decisions that way. For me, in my life and in my cricket journey, it has been important to give those 10 extra seconds instead of rushing.”
The 28-year-old tried to remain calm during the chase. “It was very easy for me. I’ve been in a situation like this before. I try to make sure I’m neutral and calm, which helps make the right decisions. If you get too excited or over-excited at times, you tend to make wrong decisions where there is no need,” he said.
The skipper gave due credit to his teammates Miller and Rashid Khan. “It was important for me to build partnerships and be there to the end. When Miller came I had to make sure I was kind of relieving him and getting fast runs and you saw what Miller did after he was done. ” he added.
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