‘I have tried my best to give freedom to my player and express himself’

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Hardik Pandya-led team India successfully registered a 1-0 series win against hosts New Zealand after the third and final T20I match concluded in a rain-hit DLS tie. The Men in Blue relished some magnificent performances throughout the series, Suryakumar Yadav’s century being the highlight, that eventually helped India clinch the title. 

Stand-in skipper Hardik Pandya who added yet another trophy under his belt voiced that he wants the side to play with freedom. Furthermore, Pandya also stated that he was open to the idea of being aggressive right from the word ‘go’. Recently, India has adapted the aggressive approach of batting, which has somewhat proved beneficial for the team.

“To be honest, I have tried my best to give freedom to my players so that he can go out and express himself. Whosoever has come here to play international cricket, has played many games before. So, the same ideology was there in the World Cup,” said Hardik during a post-match press conference.

“Obviously, things we couldn’t implement are getting highlighted. But going forward, we won’t play with a single mindset. The mandate would be to go, enjoy, and if you feel like hitting right from the first ball, just hit. The player will have full support and will be backed thoroughly,” he added.

Everyone will get a fair amount of chance: Hardik Pandya

Of the new additions in the squad for the series, many of the players were keen to make a mark for the national side but were forced to sit on the sidelines due to the rain playing a key role. Hardik further addressed the issues of certain players in the squad not getting enough chances in the series.

“Firstly, what is being spoken outside doesn’t matter to us. This is my team, what I and the coach feel right, we’ll go by that. Sabko mauka milega, poora milega. Aur jab milega tab lamba mauka milega (Everyone will get a fair amount of chance and when it happens, that particular player will be backed for a long time),” said Hardik.

With the T20I series now concluded, the two giants will cross swords for a three-match ODI series starting November 25 at Eden Park in Auckland. Players who missed out in the T20I series, and are also a part of the ODI squad, will hope to getting a chance in the 50-over format against the Kiwis.

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