‘Don't want luxury': Hardik Pandya slams West Indies cricket board for not making ‘basic arrangements’ for Team India
After India beat West Indies by 200 runs in the 3rd ODI to seal the series 2-1, Hardik Pandya slammed the West Indies cricket board for poor arrangements.
Indian captains and the post-match presentations after the final ODI of the series appear to be a fiery combination. After women's team skipper Harmnapreet Kaur coped with heavy criticism and also attracted a two-match suspension for her behaviour during the third ODI against Bangladesh and her words against the umpires in the post-match presentation, it was men's team's stand-in captain Hardik Pandya questioning the arrangements made by the West Indies Cricket Board during their tour. After India hammered West Indies by 200 runs in the third ODI to seal the three-match series 2-1, Hardik made no attempts to hide his displeasure about the travel plans and other arrangements.
Hardik was leading for the second time in a row as regular captain Rohit Sharma and star batter Virat Kohli were rested again to give more opportunities to younger players like Sanju Samson and Ruturaj Gaikwad. In the post-match presentation ceremony, former West Indies opener and now a renowned commentator, Daren Ganga, asked Hardik about the facilities at the Brian Cricket Stadium in Tarouba, which hosted its maiden ODI.
Hardik praised the stadium by calling it "one of the nicest" venues but the all-rounder was quick to switch to highlighting the shortcomings of the West Indies Cricket Board during India's tour. Hardik went on to complain about not having "basic necessities" and wanted the hosts to take care of that in the future.
‘Time for West Indies board to take note of it’: Hardik Pandya not happy with arrangements in the Caribbean
"This was one of the nicest grounds we have played. Things can be better when we come to West Indies next time. From travelling to managing a lot of things. Last year also, some hiccups happened. I think it's time for West Indies Cricket to take note of it and make sure that when a team travels... We don’t ask for luxury but we need some basic necessities taken care of. Other than that, really enjoyed coming here and playing some good cricket," Hardik Pandya said on Tuesday.
The Indian cricketers had earlier expressed their displeasure to BCCI after their late-night flight from Trinidad to Barbados got delayed by close to four hours, leaving them sleep-deprived ahead of the ODI series opener. The senior cricketers even requested the BCCI not to keep late-night flights when there is very little gap between matches.
Earlier in the day, Hardik also made news with his cheeky remark to former West Indies spinner Samuel Badree who asked the all-rounder about the pressure of being the first Indian captain to potentially lose an ODI series to West Indies in 17 years if India failed to win the decider. "It's okay. I like to be unique," said Hardik.
It was not as if Hardik was only breathing fire with the mic in hand. He was in a similar mood even while batting. Coming in to at No.5 , Hardik took his time and then teed off in the last five overs of the Indian innings to take their total to 351/5 - India's highest ODI score in the Caribbean islands. Hardik remained unbeaten on 70 off 52 balls with five sixes and four boundaries to his name.
The West Indies batters were no match to the Indian bowlers. Mukesh Kumar picked up three wickets with the new ball to push the hosts back and then Kuldeep Yadav and Shardul Thakur gave no chance to them to recover. India bowled West Indies out for 151 in just 35.3 overs to register their second-biggest win (in terms of victory margin) against them.
‘As a captain, I want to be in pressure situations’: Hardik Pandya
"It’s a special win. To be honest, I look forward to these kinds of games as a captain where there is something on the line. This was more than an international game. We knew what was at stake and there would be a lot of disappointment if we lost. The boys showed great character. They enjoyed it as well, in pressure situations it’s important to enjoy it as well. You don't become a hero without handling pressure," Hardik said.
Hardik credited the batters for setting up the match and also lauded his new-ball bowlers for finishing the match in the powerplay itself. “Scoring 350 was always crucial. When you have a total like that, batters chase the ball and if luck is on your side, batters will nick it. A couple of really good catches by Gill. West Indies woke up very late and there was that partnership that took it to the 34th over. The game was kind of over in the powerplay itself.”
Hardik will lead in the five-match T20I series against the West Indies starting Thursday at the same venue.