In the two opportunities India got – the series opener in Wellington went down without a ball being bowled – in the three-match T20I series against New Zealand, they chose not to play x-factor players like Sanju Samson and Umran Malik. XI, much to the surprise of many. With the T20 World Cup over, it was widely believed that India would inject a bullet into the T20I line-up and play looser, but their decision to bench Samson and Malik painted a different picture. When asked about the non-selection of Samson and Umran, India’s stand-in captain for the T20I leg of the tour, Hardik Pandya, said that those who didn’t get a game in the series will definitely come a long way in future.
“Pahli baat toh bahar kaun kya bol raha hai usse ye level pe fadak nahi padta. Ye meri team hai,ht coach aur mujhe jo theek lagega,jo side hume chahie hoga (hum wo khilayenge). Bohut samay hai. Sabko muka milega aur jab mauka milega lamba milega. Agar bada series hota, zyada corresponds to hote toh apparently opportunity zyada hote. Ye chhota series tha, main zyada chiop a change mein believe nei karta aur age bhi believe nei karunga. (First who says what outside us na it doesn’t really affect this level. This is my team and after talking to the coach I will choose the best side. There is enough time. Everyone gets their chance and when they get it, it will be It was a small series, if we had more games we could have tried more players,” Hardik said at a press conference after the third T20I in Napier ended in a draw by DLS method.
Samson and Umran would be hoping for a long uninterrupted run. Duel traveled almost regularly with the limited-overs side but their playing XI options were limited. While Umran Malik there is still enough raw, Samson has been going through this ordeal for almost three years now. Giving the example of Deepak Hooda to further reinforce his point, Hardik added that the team management wanted a sixth-bowling option, so they tried Hooda and it worked. The off-spinner picked up four wickets in the second T20I and did a good job on Tuesday as well.
“Jaise mujhe possibility of six bowling chahie tha aur woh cheeez is tour mein aya hai jaise Deepak ne ball dala hai. Thoda thoda karke agar aise batsman chip in karte rahenge (with the ball) toh aapke paas bohut sare mauke honge naye bowlers use karke opponents ko will surprise karne ka. (For example, I wanted a six-bowling option and Deepak did that very well. If the batsmen start biting the ball, we will have options to surprise the opposition),” he said.
Chasing 161 for victory, India were struggling at 21 for three in 2.5 overs but Pandya hit three boundaries and a six to take the visitors to 75 for four, which proved to be level with DLS’s score when the match was called off because of the rain. The two teams shared the honors with India clinching the three-match series 1-0 thanks to their 65-run win in the second match on Sunday. “I would like to win the match by playing to my full potential, but that’s the way it is. At some point, I felt that attack is the best defense on this wicket,” Hardik said. Hardik will now head home while Shikhar Dhawan will take charge of the team in the three-match ODI series starting on Friday.