Hardik Pandya ready to contribute for India in any batting position

Hardik Pandya says it doesn’t make a difference where he bats, after guiding India to a series-clinching win over Australia in Indore on Sunday

india vs australia 2017 Updated: Sep 25, 2017 09:22 IST
India vs Australia,Hardik Pandya,Indian cricket team
Hardik Pandya’s half-century guided India to a series-clinching ODI win in Indore on Sunday against Australia.(REUTERS)

Hardik Pandya was batting at No.4 in the Indian batting line-up for the first time. In the Chennai ODI, he blasted 83 batting at number seven to change the course of the match. In Kolkata, he again batted at No.7 and shared a vital 35-run stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. (3rd ODI highlights | Scorecard)

In Indore, he was promoted to No.4 after Rohit Sharma (71) and Ajinkya Rahane (70) had notched up a magnificent 139-run stand for the opening wicket. Pandya’s promotion was seen as a move to tackle spin in the middle overs and it paid off as his magnificent 78 helped India win the third ODI by five wickets to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Pandya said, “It does not make any difference where I bat. Rather than seeing this as a challenge, I see this as an opportunity to do something nice for the team. When I was told I was going to go out to bat next, I was happy. This is the first time I played so many balls, so it was great.”

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‘No extra pressure’

With India seemingly on course, Australia fought back when they dismissed Virat Kohli (28) and Kedar Jadhav (2) in quick succession. Pandya now had to guide the team to safety along with Manish Pandey, who had struggled so far in the first two games.

With 77 needed off 78, Pandya was given a lifeline on 41 when he was dropped by Steve Smith at extra cover. The moment proved to be decisive and both players stitched a 78-run stand to guide India over the line.

When asked if there was any extra pressure, Pandya stated that he was in control of the situation. “I was batting on 40 or something and the equation was also at run-a-ball. We knew if we took the game deep, then the boundary balls will also come, since margin of runs wasn’t much. We bat pretty deep, and it was only a matter of spending more time. We actually knew we could get over the line,” Pandya said.

The exploits of Pandya has helped Virat Kohli register nine consecutive ODI wins and with the series now in the bag, India will be gunning for the 5-0 whitewash.

First Published: Sep 25, 2017 09:18 IST