Mahendra Singh Dhoni was today impressed by Hardik Pandya’s cameo in India’s convincing win in the Asia Cup T20 opener against Bangladesh and called the young all-rounder an “overall package” who could be promoted in the batting order in the coming days.
India began its campaign in style thrashing Bangladesh by 45 runs riding on a brilliant 83 by Rohit Sharma. Pandya’s 18-ball 31 and Ashish Nehra’s three for 23 played a big role in India’s 45-run win at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Dhoni On Hardik: Batting fearlessly is Hardik’s strength and that’s why we want to give him more matches, he’s a good fielder too and a useful third seamer.He is an overall package we can promote him often and that gives us the option of playing an extra batsman.
On Rohit’s batting: The way Rohit batted that was needed. It would’ve been good to win the toss. We wanted to see the kind of start and then set a target. It was kind of 55-45 with the toss. Rather than hitting the big shots straight down, it was important to cut and use such shots since they were bowling short of length.
Overall, wicket was a difficult one to bat on. It was after 20 overs, when we scored 160, it might have given an impression that wicket had become easier to bat on, which was not the case. That makes Rohit’s innings even more special because, after three wickets fell, we needed a partnership.
That’s when Hardik went and started playing his shots. At that time, Rohit made sure Hardik gets strike.
Rohit himself used pace of the deliveries bowled back of length. He played cut shots, exploited the field. Because of Rohit, Hardik expressed himself and played those big shots.
On his batting: Sometimes it’s hard. Because I am expected to score 20-25 runs in those balls, which is difficult.
On his back spasm: The body remains warm after the match, so it might give fake signals. You can only judge the next day as to how the condition is. I was under a lot of dilemma and found it difficult to convince people that I will make sure that I go through 20 overs. There are still two more days before the next match (against Pakistan) and luckily we have Parthiv around.I’ll be able to sit tomorrow. It’s important for me to start afresh and not look back too much. This is a perfect platform for us before the World Cup.
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