Hardik Pandya could not win the match for India despite his all-round show against England in 3rd ODI    AFP
Hardik Pandya could not win the match for India despite his all-round show against England in 3rd ODI AFP

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Tuesday admitted that the ICC World Twenty20 (WT20I) was a “reality check” for him and the Australia tour with India A team was a huge learning curve. Pandya, along with Kedar Jadhav, brought India close to an unlikely win after a top order collapse chasing a target of 322 against England in Kolkata on Sunday. India won the series 2-1 despite losing the third One-Day International (ODI). The first match of the series was won by 3 wickets by hosts whereas they trounced visitors by 15 runs at Cuttack to seal the series then and there.

“After the World Cup, I had a reality check like what are the things I should improve on. As an individual, I accept my mistakes and want to improve on,” Pandya said ahead of the three-T20Is against England starting here from Thursday. India fell agonisingly close in 3rd ODI against England chasing 322 as they folded for 316 for 9, to lose by five runs. Pandya impressed with a 56-run knock off 43 balls, hitting four boundaries and two sixes but his wicket changed the momentum of the game. He and Jadhav (90 off 75 balls) put on a 104-run sixth-wicket partnership to pull India on the brink of victory. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs England, 1st T20I at Kanpur

“The Australia tour (with India A) was pretty important for me. I learnt a lot of things about my game, Rahul sir (India A coach Rahul Dravid) used to talk to me about my game and the mental aspects”, he said. Pandya failed miserably in the World Cup at home drawing a lot of flak for his tepid performances. The lanky cricketer, who is known to lose his mind at times and play rash shots, said he accepted the mistakes he committed in the crucial stage of the third match.

“The shots that I played I should have not. The asking rate was high and someone had to play the big shots. Kedar was the one who stayed there and he should have and I thought I should be the one who would take the chances,” Pandya stated.

On having the experienced pacer Ashish Nehra in the T20I side as the bowling spearhead, Pandya said, “I have played with him. It only strengthens the bowling attack.”

India are scheduled to play the first of the three-match series at Kanpur on January 26. The second T20I will be held on January 29 at Nagpur with the last match to be hosted by Bengaluru on February 1.