India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been bowling excellently since his return to the Indian team after a considerable time away from the game to work on his fitness. Pandya was recently named the Player of the Series against England as India won the ODI series 2-1 on Sunday.
Hardik Pandya was at his best with both the ball and the bat, as he made 100 runs and picked 6 wickets in the series. His best of 71 and 4/24 came in the third and final ODI itself.
Hardik Pandya, the bowler, feels he has finally got his rhythm back, and going forward, the India star will continue to be ‘smart’ about his job and bowl at a full pace only when ‘required’. Not being able to bowl regularly due to fitness issues had cost Hardik his place in the Indian team but he made a roaring comeback with the IPL.
Speaking to the media post the third ODI, Hardik said to be able to bowl regularly gives him a lot of satisfaction.
“So firstly with my bowling, you know post IPL, after every series, I take maybe four or five days to train because that is re-fuelling for my fitness and just to get fresh. I like to play 100 per cent because then it gives me the opportunity to do all the things which I did today (in the 3rd ODI). After IPL, I came back to play the South Africa series. I bowled one over and I did not bowl in couple of games. As a bowler for me, it’s very important to keep bowling. So I was not finding the rhythm.
“Even in Ireland when I played, I was not getting the rhythm which I wanted to because I find myself a control bowler. I don’t have much skills you know, get the batter out by opening him up and nipping the ball inside and all that, I play with smartness. I try to outsmart the batter,” he said.
I Think I Bowl Smart: Hardik Pandya
More recently, he was at his absolute best with bat and ball in the white-ball series in England. Hardik said the four-wicket burst in the first T20 gave him much-needed confidence.
“So for me, it’s very important to get my consistency, something which I worked on. I went back to the videos which I saw before and it was more about the feeling so it was just before the first T20 game against England. I generally don’t practice before the game but I just went in and bowled couple of hours with full run up and full effort.
That’s where I got my rhythm and when obviously that four-wicket haul (against England in T20s) kind of changed everything and gave me my consistency and my confidence to pitch wherever I want to, so that’s where I come into the picture and be effective,” he said.
“I think I bowl smart. I only bend my back and bowl quick as possible when required. If you see my couple of games back, I was bowling in 130s because it was not that I was not able to bowl quick,” he added.
Hardik Pandya will next be seen in action against West Indies when India plays five T20Is in the Caribbean and the USA. He was not named in the ODI squad for the West Indies tour.