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January 19 2018, 01:45 | Rex Rios
Pandya has started making his presence felt in virtually every game, and Sunday was no different.
In his so far short global career, Hardik Pandya has proved that he is indeed the the "ideal all-rounder" that the Indian team has been aspiring since the departure of legendary Kapil Dev.
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.
With India A tours becoming a regular affair, Ranji Trophy also needs to be given due importance, opines Dravid, "The board has been open to scheduling series but it's hard to balance out, especially the A tours become hard because we do understand the stress players face with the amount of cricket played". The Indian captain Virat Kohli described the all-rounder as a "great asset" to Indian cricket.
Pandya's six-hitting abilities are well known. And to be honest, I used to hit sixes before too, it's just that I am hitting them at a higher level now. "Obviously the plan was to target the spinners and yeah, it came out pretty well". "If I feel like, I go for it", Pandya added. "I see these situations as opportunities". This is the first time I got the chance to play so many balls, so that was great.
Pandya defended the next ball quietly and then pushed the next ball to long-on for a single.
"It's not just about hitting", he pointed out. "That time I thought that (Adam) Zampa was bowling and I knew that I could hit a six off him any time I wanted to". The duo went on to exchange more words, with the umpire stepping in to ask both the players to get on with the game. That's my way of thinking. The key factors in this blueprint are - read the situations accurately, identify the moment to change, hit big shots consistently to begin the process and then dictate terms to the opposition. Seeing him promoting him up the order once in a while to up the tempo is fine, but he isn't the solution for India's number four woes, with plenty of young players ready to grab that spot.
"If you want to think that way, you can, I have no problems".
Javagal Srinath, who was in the side primarily for his bowling, was forced to bat at No.3 in ODIs during this pinch-hitting frenzy, and managed a half-century against a strong South Africa, while Ajith Agarkar scored a Test century at Lord's, but neither were India's answer. Pandya, however, is unperturbed about the expectations. 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". I just back myself and if you back yourself, you always come out on top.