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Published: Wed, September 27, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Hardik Pandya Impresses 'The Wall' Rahul Dravid With Mature Approach

Hardik Pandya Impresses 'The Wall' Rahul Dravid With Mature Approach

Hardik Pandya has been the game-changer for India in the ongoing series against Australia. No wonder then that when Pandya, a fortnight shy of turning 24, sat down to interact with the media soon after pocketing yet another man-of-the-match award after leading India's run chase in the third ODI against Australia, he was simply oozing confidence in each of his replies.

Indore: He has become the cynosure of all eyes with his six-hitting prowess but Hardik Pandya says it's not a skill he has developed overnight as he has been clearing the ropes easily since childhood.

It was a similar case for Ali when he came into bat in the third ODI against West Indies on Sunday.

Celebrating Pandya's knock, the Indian skipper played the interviewer on Sunday night and interviewed Hardik regarding his knock, sending him at No. 4 and the series win.

The plan worked. Pandya went after Agar and hit him for four sixes. In reply, India was off to a flying start after Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma put on 139 for the first wicket. But I waited till the 37th over and then used the opportunity to change the momentum. Rather than seeing this as a challenge, I see this as an opportunity to do something nice for the team.

"It's not about playing just the one way you want to play".

After the match ended, Kohli interviewed Pandya in the dressing room.

Dravid was Pandya's coach a year ago on an India A tour of Australia.

It (batting at No. 4) does not make any difference where I bat. "It's pretty important that I read the game", he added. "This is the first time I played so many balls, so it was great", said Pandya, with a smile on his face.

This was witnessed when the heated rivalry between Australia and India resumed, with Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis trying to get under the Indian captain's skin.

"This concept of "play your natural game", which I hear all the time, frustrates me because there's no such thing in my belief as 'natural game.' It's only about how you play different situations", Dravid, who has been coaching India's U-19 and A teams for over two years now, said. "It's a treat to watch them play and the way they play", Pandya said. "Well, obviously when they were 207 for 1 or so in 35 overs, even we thought they might get to 330-340, being practical since we ourselves play so much cricket".

However, Finch's innings came to an end when he was caught by Kedar Jadhav at deep midwicket off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav for 124, which came off 125 balls and included 12 boundaries and five sixes.

The all-rounder, hence, has been a subject of comparison with India legend Kapil Dev, who is regarded the best all-rounder the nation has produced.

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