Hardik Pandya: During lockdown, I worked on how to finish games

Pandya, who was named the Man of the Match for his knock, thought the award should have gone to T Natarajan for the newcomer's fine effort with the ball.

Pandya hit debutant pacer Daniel Sams for two sixes - one over long on and one over midwicket -=- to seal the game in India's favour with two balls to spare.   -  GETTY IMAGES

India's flamboyant all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Sunday said he had worked on gaining mastery over "finishing games when it mattered the most" during the coronavirus-forced lockdown.

Pandya powered India to a six-wicket win with a blazing 42 off 22 balls, helping the side score 25 of 12 balls and 14 in the final over for a series-clinching victory in the second and penultimate T20 International against Australia.

"During lockdown I wanted to focus on finishing games where it matters the most. It doesn't matter whether I score or don't score more runs," Pandya said at the post-match press conference.

READ | Kohli: Proud that we won T20 series without established players

The all-rounder was not new to the kind of situation he faced with at the SCG on Sunday, having won some and lost a few in the past.

"I have been in these situations many times and I learnt from my mistakes in the past. My game is always around the confidence which I carry, it has that fine line where I back myself and not become overconfident.

"I always remember all those times when we chased big totals and it helps."

Pandya hit debutant pacer Daniel Sams for two sixes -- one over long on and one over midwicket -- to seal the game in India's favour with two balls to spare.

"It was not about what they are doing, it was about what I can do. It's a matter of two big shots and today it came off. I always back myself. It's the situation I have always played. Whatever the team requires I always try to do.

"It's very simple. I like to look at scoreboard and play so that I know which bowlers to target."

“I am so impressed with him because he keeps it very simple and doesn’t complicate things. If you tell him ‘go bowl a yorker or a wide slower one’, he goes and does that. It is a learning for a lot of people that if you keep it simple, it can benefit you.” - Hardik on T. Natarajan (right). - AP

 

He said he had always focused more on the process rather than the end result.

"In T20s, you actually have more time than you think. If we need 70-80 odd in 30 balls, I don't look at the whole thing and I break it down to 12 balls and focus more on the process than the end result."

ALSO READ | AUS v IND: T. Natarajan, India's smiling assassin

Pandya was named the Man of the Match for his heroics with the bat but he thought the award should have gone to T Natarajan (2/20 in 4 overs) for the newcomer's fine effort with the ball.

"Special mention to Natarajan as well. I thought he should be the Man of the Match, because the bowlers struggled here and he had a really good game. He gave us a target about 10 or 15 runs lower than what it would have been. He keeps it simple and I prefer people who don't complicate things," Pandya said.

 

Asked about his involvement in the upcoming Test series as a specialist batsman since he is yet to start bowling regularly, Pandya said, "It's a different ball game. I don't mind, the call is the management's."