Hardik Pandya credits Virat Kohli for batting inputs after stellar knock

Hardik Pandya, the stand-in skipper for Team India in the third ODI against West Indies, heaped praise on Virat Kohli for his valuable batting inputs that helped him rediscover his form.

After struggling in the first two ODIs, Pandya made a remarkable comeback in the decider, smashing an unbeaten 70 off 52 balls. 

The all-rounder attributed his success to the guidance received from the seasoned batsman, as he spoke about the valuable lessons learned from Kohli. Furthermore, Pandya highlighted the need for improved facilities for touring sides in West Indies, expressing his concerns about the lack of basic arrangements during the ongoing series.

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Virat Kohli's valuable input

In a candid revelation, Hardik Pandya expressed his gratitude towards Virat Kohli for the constructive input he received ahead of the decisive match. The stand-in skipper acknowledged Kohli's experience, having witnessed his cricketing journey right from the beginning. Kohli's advice primarily revolved around spending more time on the crease and acclimatizing to the pace of the game. Pandya emphasized that these pointers remained in his mind throughout the innings, guiding him to an exceptional knock that turned the tide in India's favor.

“I had a very wonderful chat with Virat a couple of days back, and the kind of input he gave me, he has seen me throughout the years. It's been almost seven or eight years of international cricket and he has seen me from day one. He had some pointers which really helped me,” he said.

Hardik Pandya
Photo by Icon Sport

Unhappiness over travel arrangements

Beyond his stellar performance, Pandya also voiced concerns about the lack of basic arrangements during the tour. He urged West Indies Cricket to take note of the situation and ensure better facilities for visiting teams in the future. While he didn't ask for luxury, Pandya highlighted the need for essential necessities to be taken care of, emphasizing the importance of providing a comfortable environment for the players.

Before the ODI series, Indian players expressed their unhappiness over travel arrangements, particularly night flights that led to delay issues. Some members of the team even wrote to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), requesting a change in travel plans. While this concern was addressed, Pandya's comments during the post-match presentation highlighted the broader issues of basic facilities faced by the team during their stay in the West Indies.

“This was one of the nicest grounds we have played. Things can be better when we come to West Indies next time. From traveling to managing a lot of things. Last year also, some hiccups happened. I think it's time for West Indies Cricket to take note of it and make sure that when a team travels,” the 29-year-old said.

“We don’t ask for luxury but we need some basic necessities taken care of. Other than that, really enjoyed coming here and playing some good cricket,” he added.

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Hardik Pandya, a batting revival

Former Indian opener, Wasim Jaffer, weighed in on Pandya's role in the team and predicted that the all-rounder would bat at No. 6 in ODIs. Considering the expected returns of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer to the side, Jaffer believed that the middle-order position would be the ideal slot for Pandya. Recognizing his potential as a finisher, Jaffer lauded Pandya's ability to bat through the innings and contribute significantly to the team's success.

Hardik Pandya‘s impressive knock in the third ODI validated Jaffer's prediction and showcased the all-rounder's potential as a finisher. After low scores in the first two matches, Pandya displayed patience early on, biding his time to get accustomed to the pitch.

Once he found his rhythm, he was unstoppable and played a pivotal role in steering India to victory. Pandya's resurgence will undoubtedly boost India's confidence, especially with the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 on the horizon.

“I think he is going to bat at No.6,” Jaffe said on ESPNCricinfo. “I don't see him bat anywhere up, since we know that Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul are going to come in. So, No.6 is his place. If he is batting at the death, we all know what he can do.”

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The future ahead

With the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 approaching, Pandya's form and contributions will be critical for India's success. As a versatile player, his role as a finisher at No. 6 will be crucial in providing the much-needed firepower in the death overs. Additionally, Pandya's ability to contribute with both bat and ball makes him an indispensable asset for Team India, and his steady growth in the past few years has been encouraging for Indian cricket.

Hardik Pandya's redemption in the third ODI against West Indies, backed by the valuable inputs from Virat Kohli, showcases the camaraderie and support within Team India. The all-rounder's determination to adapt and excel despite recent struggles shows that he has turned a corner with respect to his overall game. 

As the cricketing world looks forward to the upcoming ICC ODI World Cup 2023, Pandya's resurgence augurs well for India's chances in the mega event. His return into a reliable finisher will undoubtedly strengthen India's middle-order and add depth to their batting lineup, making him a vital asset for the team's success in the future.