India vs West Indies: ‘Seeing you in the stands inspired me’ - KL Rahul to ‘best friend’ Hardik Pandya - WATCH
India vs West Indies: Hardik Pandya, who has been away from cricket due to a back injury, interviewed man of the match KL Rahul after the 3rd T20I.Updated: Dec 12, 2019 15:00 IST
Despite the controversial Koffee With Karan episode last year, Indian cricketers KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya have managed to remain best of friends. Pandya has been away from cricket after undergoing a back surgery earlier this year. But the allrounder was seen sitting at the stands watching the match as India’s top order comprising of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli went on a rampage at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai after being asked to bat first in the 3rd T20I against West Indies.
Rahul hammered 91 runs in 56 balls, before he was dismissed in the final over. He was awarded the man of the match for his performance after India won the match by 67 runs. The opener was interviewed by Pandya after the match for a video uploaded on the BCCI website.
“I saw you and I got inspired. I saw my best friend sitting in the stands, and cheering for Team India. So your face cheered me up,” a smiling Rahul told Pandya. He further went on to credit Rohit Sharma, who scored 71 runs in 34 balls, and skipper Kohli, who hammered an unbeaten 71 in 29 balls, for making his task easier up front.
“I enjoy opening the bat with Rohit Sharma. He makes things a lot more easier. I’ve said this before also. The oppositions are always thinking about Rohit, and I get a few freebies. That’s all a batsman wants to get his innings going. Virat, today was outstanding. I have never seen him play like this before,” the 27-year-old said.
“Virat was so pumped up before the innings, he just wanted to come out. I have not seen an innings like this from him in a long time. From ball one, he started striking. Even in Hyderabad, he played so well. The top three got a good hit. Shivam, also played so well, in the last game. Things are looking good for us,” he added.
Rahul further told Pandya that because of the explosive cricket played by four-time IPL Champions Mumbai Indians, the Wankhede crowd expects a show from the Indian cricket team. “When Mumbai Indians play here... Pollard, Bumrah, you, all you guys have set the bar so high. So when the Indian team comes up, the crowd expects us to do the same. So I am glad that we could do put up a show like that,” he said.
Rahul further said that everyone in the dressing room is eagerly awaiting Pandya’s return. “We are waiting for you to come back quickly. The dressing room feels the same without you. We miss you and Bumrah. Hopefully you guys recover and come soon.”
India and West Indies will play the first ODI on Sunday.