It’s a known fact that whenever India have tasted success in the ICC events, it has been because of the multi-dimensional players, who can chip in with either bat or ball when required. Recently, after India’s embarrassing 10-wicket defeat against England in the T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final, former coach Anil Kumble also highlighted the same area where the current team is lacking.

Hardik Pandya, who is leading Team India in the ongoing T20I series against New Zealand in the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma, also seems to be interested in expanding the batters’ role. This was evident in the second T20I against the Black Caps that saw part-timer Deepak Hooda bowling 2.5 overs. The move clearly worked for the Men in Blue as Hooda went on to take four wickets for just 10 runs.

After India’s win in the second T20I by 65 runs, Hardik mentioned that he wants more batters to roll their arm over when needed while admitted that not every time this move is going to work.

“Can’t get any better than this. Everyone chipped in, but it was surely a special innings by Surya. We would have taken a score of 170-175. Bowlers did well, and it was about being aggressive in the mindset. It doesn’t mean taking a wicket every ball, but being aggressive with the ball is important. The conditions were very wet, so credit to the bowlers. I have bowled a lot and going forward, I want to see more bowling options. Not always that this will work, but I want more batters to chip in with the ball,” Hardik said after the match.

“I expect them to be professional, which they are. Give them the opportunity to enjoy themselves. It’s about creating an environment where they are all in a happy space. I see many times in this team that all the players are happy for each other’s success. And that’s important,” he added.


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