"He Can Hit Me. I Know He's Going To Hear This": Hardik Pandya Dares West Indies Star
Hardik Pandya's leadership as captain had been criticised, but he got the team to work well in the third T20I against West Indies.
This helped the visitors win a game after losing the first two to the hosts. The most criticism has been aimed at India's hitting team, especially its long tail.
But Hardik made it clear on Tuesday that his team will keep playing with seven hitters because he doesn't want to give up on bowling. Hardik was right on the money with Team India's plan for the 3rd T20I, especially when it came to how to handle an in-form Nicholas Pooran.
"It's crucial to win. We all agreed that these three games are going to be fun. The long-term plans won't change if they lose or win twice. When it comes to (must-win) games, we have to show that we are ready.
"Nicky Pooran didn't come out to bat, which let us keep our fast bowlers back and gave Axar a chance to bowl his four overs. Nicky can hit me if he wants to. That was the plan, because I like being hit. "I know he'll hear this and come hard at me in the fourth T20I," the India captain said at the ceremony after the match.
After India lost the first two games of the five-game series against West Indies, the long tail was questioned.
After India won the third T20 by seven wickets, Hardik said that seven batsmen are enough for the starting eleven.
The captain said, "As a team, we've decided to bat with seven batters, and we have to take responsibility. If the batters score runs, like they did today, you don't need someone at number eight."
Hardik also gave Suryakumar Yadav a lot of credit for his 83 off 44 balls, which won the game.
"As Surya said, SKY and Tilak Varma play together and spend time together. It's good to have someone like SKY on the team, and when he takes responsibility, it sends a message to the others," said Hardik.
Tilak Varma, who was playing in his first game, was still unbeaten with 49 runs after 37 balls as India reached 160 runs with 13 balls left.