‘I am being turtle right now, not the rabbit’ – Hardik Pandya on bowling workload ahead of 2023 ODI World Cup
Hardik led India in the second ODI against the West Indies in Barbados, which the tourists lost by six wickets.
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya believes he feels like a ‘turtle’ right now and hopes that by the time the 2023 Cricket World Cup kicks off, his body will be able to withstand the rigours of regularly bowling ten overs. On July 29, Hardik Pandya led India in the second ODI against the West Indies in Barbados, which the tourists lost by six wickets.
Since Hardik’s back surgery in 2019, there has been speculation about whether he would be the same bowler he was before or whether his body can sustain the workload. Given the all-rounder’s abilities, the team felt he needed to be completely fit and ready to contribute in both departments. Moreover, he gradually increased his workload as far as his bowling was concerned and continued to demonstrate the progress.
“Body is fine, I have to bowl more overs to get ready for the ODI World Cup. I am being turtle right now not the rabbit, and hoping by the time World Cup comes, everything goes well,” Pandya said after the match.
We did not bat in the way we were supposed to: Hardik
Reflecting on the defeat in the second ODI, Hardik Pandya admitted that the tourists didn’t bat as they should have but played reasonably well in the second innings. He added that the loss is unfortunate, but they will gain insight from it.
“We didn’t bat in the way we were supposed to. Wickets played really well, don’t think It was like the first game, ball coming nicely on the bat and got much better in the second innings. It’s just that barring Shubman Gill everyone kind of played their shots and got out or found the fielders. Yeah, disappointing but at the same time many more things to learn,” he added.
Hardik went on to say that Ishan Kishan (55) and Shubman Gill (34) effortlessly opened the innings. The 29-year-old added that West Indies skipper Shai Hope (63*) batted well, which helped his team to score. He further said that the series decider will be thrilling for both viewers and players since it is levelled 1-1.
“The way they opened batted throughout, the way Kishan batted, the confidence he’s been carrying since IPL, it’s important for Indian cricket as well. (Shardul) Thakur coming in and kept our hopes alive. Unfortunately (Shai) Hope batted well, they held their nerves and got the score.
“You would want the series to be level, it helps show the character (of players). They will be tested, we will be tested. Next game will be exciting for the viewers as well and the players too,” the stand-in skipper concluded.