Tue, Jul 10, 2018 - Page 16 News List

We can build on Twenty20 victory, India’s Pandya says

AFP, BRISTOL, England

India’s Rohit Sharma, center, and Hardik Pandya, right, celebrate winning the third Twenty20 match against England in Bristol, England, on Sunday.

Photo: AP

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Sunday said his team’s win in the Twenty20 international series against England is a stepping stone for the upcoming 50-over series.

Pandya played a major role in the deciding match in Bristol, England, with bat and ball, taking 4-38 and scoring a rapid 33 not out that helped India get past England’s 198-9.

The 24-year-old had a nightmare start to his afternoon when he conceded 22 from his first over before bouncing back with a match-winning performance and Pandya says he and his side are on an upward learning curve heading into the five one-day games that begin in Nottingham on Thursday.

“I am always learning the game and making sure I am always learning from my mistakes in every game I play in,” Pandya told reporters in Bristol. “We have a fantastic supporting staff, and leaders who give us immense confidence to go and express ourselves. We are just enjoying the game rather than thinking about what has got to happen. We are just playing our best cricket and when you do that you end up doing well.”

“When I went for 22 in an over I thought the T20 is a funny format and the only thing to do was to come back and bowl my best balls,” he said. “Virat Kohli asked me and I told him I was OK — if you come and take wickets on this type of wicket and ground it will stop the runs. I just had to make sure I kept it simple.”

England got off to a flier, reaching 43 off four overs and 118-2 off 10 before being reeled in by the India bowlers and posting a total that was 20 or 30 runs short.

“The comeback from the bowlers was outstanding — I thought they would end up getting 225 or 230, which would have been tough,” Kohli said. “The character showed was something we are really proud of and as captain I was very happy to see that. We had to bowl wicket-taking deliveries because 20 or 30 runs can be massive.”

England left Joe Root out of their side to make room for Ben Stokes, who has had a month off with a hamstring injury.

Root has been struggling for form in Twenty20s, making a duck and 9 in his previous two innings, but captain Eoin Morgan said he would be back for the one-day international at Trent Bridge.

“It was a difficult decision leaving Joe out. There is a lot of competition for places and that gives everyone a nudge to be playing better,” Morgan said. “Joe was understanding and disappointed he was missing out, but that changes going forward in the 50-over game.”

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