Pandya scored 78 runs    AFP
Hardik Pandya scored 78 runs AFP

Star of the ongoing One-Day International (ODI) series, Hardik Pandya has been India s most lethal arsenal against the Australians. Hardik has so far scored 181 runs at 60.33 in the 3 ODIs and does not look to stop anytime soon. He has also chipped in with crucial wickets at important junctures, and has dismissed Steven Smith twice. In a surprise move, Hardik was send ahead of Manish Pandey at No.4 in Indore, a move that played rich dividend.

His blitz of 72-ball 78 hampered Australia s chance of a win and helped India pocket the series 3-0 with 2 ODIs to go. Speaking after the match, Pandya said, “The message was always simple. Play your game, however you play. It depends, I can play all kinds of innings. Obviously the plan was to target the spinners and it came out pretty well.”

He also talked about his promotion in the batting order, “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.”

He also spoke in lengths about his batting style. “I just back myself… and in cricket, the confidence always matters and I’m confident that I can clear the ground. It’s not just about hitting. It’s pretty important that I read the game,” he added. “That time I thought that (Adam) Zampa was bowling and I knew that I could hit a six off him any time I wanted to. That’s why I waited till the seventh over and then I got the opportunity to change the momentum and eventually one over changed the momentum in that game (In Chennai ODI), he adds.

Pandya also gave insight about his uncluttered mind. “I don’t think that much. I focus only on the things which I can focus and right now I’m just playing my cricket. I just back myself and if you back yourself, you always come out on top. I mean you can’t score everyday but yeah, backing yourself is pretty important,” concludes Pandya.