Hardik Pandya confident ‘process-driven’ India will succeed soon

IND v AUS: Hardik says the Indian team is aware of the areas it can get better at and will have improved by the time the T20 World Cup starts.

 Hardik, who scored a 30-ball 71, said he was confident that the team will bounce back.

 Hardik, who scored a 30-ball 71, said he was confident that the team will bounce back. | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

IND v AUS: Hardik says the Indian team is aware of the areas it can get better at and will have improved by the time the T20 World Cup starts.

Hardik Pandya wasn’t nonplussed ending up on the losing side despite scoring an unbeaten 71 (30b) to take India to a formidable total at the PCA stadium here on Tuesday.

The action-packed contest of more than three hours in which the scales tilted from one side to the other frequently was summed up in just a few words: “You’ve got to give credit to them. They played some good cricket, and maybe we couldn’t execute our plans. They played some good shots, that’s it.”

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Even with three overs to go for the end of the game, there was no clear winner. Australia needed 40 runs and had lost five wickets. Matthew Wade and Tim David, then, got stuck into Harshal Patel, who gave away 22 runs in the 18th.

Hardik wasn’t keen to identify the turning point of the game. “You can’t pinpoint anything. Their overs also went for 24-25 runs (the most expensive over went for 21 runs). These things don’t matter. It’s a game, a bilateral series. We’ve got the next two games, and we’ll try to get better,” he said.

The four-wicket defeat against Australia was yet another defeat against a strong team in recent months. Hardik was confident that the team will bounce back.

“As a team we want to get better. Losing teaches you a lot and I think we all are aware of the areas we can get better at. We’re a more process-driven team, and by the time the World Cup comes we’ll make sure that we focus on our process and get better. I’m confident of the guys; they’ve done it in the past,” Hardik said.

Commenting on his own game, he said he had learnt to stay “neutral” in successes as well as failures and that he aimed to be a step ahead of the opposition every time.

“I don’t make a big deal out of any of my performances or failures. I’ve scored zeroes as well, but I’ve stayed neutral and now as well for me it’s important that I focus on the next game and make sure that I’m ready for something new which [the opposition] my target. I should be one step ahead.”

Wade: ‘We were confident of getting the runs’

Matthew Wade said he relied on his experience of playing in India to pace his innings appropriately and take his team across the line.

Wade’s unbeaten 45 (21b) was crucial in getting Australia up to the required run-rate during the death overs. Australia eventually made it home with four balls to spare.

“I’ve played often in this country to understand that you need a little bit of time to get the pace of the wicket although you understand that that wicket was a terrific wicket, a terrific outfield. It was lovely to bat on,” he said.

The fact that Australia bats deep helped in chasing the total down although a bit too much was left to be done at the business end, Wade felt.

“The way that we structured up today and the way that we drove the game early gave us every opportunity at the back end to win the game. Everybody that stepped out had really good intent; even [Josh] Inglis’s was a small innings but it keeps the momentum of the innings rolling. [Scoring at] seven and eight through that period of kind of puts a lot pressure on down to the back end as you need 15 an over. So as a team and myself and Tim, I thought we really found a way to drive the game tonight, which was nice.”

Wade heaped praise on both Tim, who combined with him for a partnership of 62 (30b), and Cameron Green, who scored a mesmerising 61 (30b) in only his second T20I for Australia.

“The plan was always for Green to open. The coach and the captain feel like it was the best spot for him to really find his feet at T20 level. He showed tonight that it’s going to be the spot going forward. We feel  Greeny is our top-order player; if something happens, we need to pull him for the World Cup (he is not a member of Australia’s squad for the T20 World Cup). But yes, really impressive to see.”

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