India vs England: Hardik Pandya credits Ishant Sharma’s tips for improved bowling performance

Hardik Pandya reaped the rewards of maintaining a superb length to run through the England batting line-up in seaming conditions on Sunday, to leave India in command at Trent Bridge.

cricket Updated: Aug 20, 2018 09:12 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Nottingham
India vs England,Hardik Pandya,Ishant Sharma
India's Hardik Pandya, right, celebrates with teammate Ishant Sharma the dismissal of England's Jonny Bairstow.(AP)

All-rounder Hardik Pandya said he owed a lot to Ishant Sharma for his sensational five-wicket haul in the Trent Bridge Test against England that has put the visitors in a position to win the game in a series where India are 0-2 down.

Pandya reaped the rewards of maintaining a superb length to run through the batting line-up in seaming conditions on Sunday, to leave India in command. His 5/28 in just six overs saw England fold for 161 in 38.2 overs.

“We were bowling the same lengths we did in the other games as well. We were getting enough swing, and situation was such that if they played a bad shot we will be up again. We had the cushion of runs under the belt as well,” he told a media conference after the day’s play.

Ishant Sharma, the senior most member of the team playing his 86th Test, came on with England having reached 46/0 at lunch. He immediately hit a fuller length to get the ball swing and seam, triggering the batting collapse with two wickets. Pandya then took over.

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“Big role, actually,” said when asked about his constant chats with Ishant during the spell. “He even told me to talk about it in the press conference,” he laughed. “Me and Ishant keep talking about the game, I would love to improve my game.

“As a bowling unit we keep talking because the captain has a lot on his plate. So, as a bowling unit we need to step up and think in our way as well, how to make life difficult for the batsman. He was telling me ‘don’t go for the wickets; you have the talent. If you bowl in the right areas, you are going to get wickets.’

“The same thing I tell him, the same thing we tell the other bowlers -- keep it tight, let us see what they do. Let us test their patience, and see what they do. And we saw the result.”

Pandya also impressed by the way he used the crease, going wide and closer to the stumps which kept the batsmen guessing. He surprised Chris Woakes with a short-pitched delivery which he nicked behind the stumps.

“If you see the other two games, I did the same thing. Only, today I got wickets. I feel with my bowling style, it is important to do that. Otherwise, they will get used to it if I bowl the same length because I don’t get the ball to swing both ways that much. Out swing is my main ball; that is why I keep on using it. It makes it difficult for them to get it exactly where I am bowling.”

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The Baroda player has a five-wicket haul in first-class cricket as well, and rated the latest effort higher than his maiden Test century in Sri Lanka last year, in his debut series.

“More than the 100, I am happier taking five wickets. This is the second time in my life, and I have also come to a very important place (England).”

He said England’s batting unit was shaky, but India can’t afford to relax till they finish the job as the hosts had recovered from 130/5 at Lord’s to register an innings victory.

“They have a few important players, if you get them they get into trouble. But cricket is a funny game. You saw at Lord’s also we were equal and all of a sudden Woakes came and scored a hundred, at No 7 I guess. All are capable, that is why they play for England. I always believe till we get all 11 (10), we should not relax. They have problems, but we would like to take them as many times as we get.”

First Published: Aug 20, 2018 09:12 IST