‘I was not able to finish’

Hardik arrived in the 11th over of the first innings and made just 14 off 18 balls…reports Asian Lite News

Skipper Hardik Pandya has accepted blame for going off-script as India lost the T20I series decider against West Indies, and said he wasn’t able to seize the opportunity when he came in to bat and didn’t execute the game plan precisely as intended.

Hardik arrived in the 11th over of the first innings and made just 14 off 18 balls. He hit his first and only six in the 16th ball of his innings as India finished on 165 for 9 in their 20 overs. In response, West Indies chased it down with eight wickets and two overs to spare.

“If you see, we lost that period post ten overs since I came in to bat. I think I was not able to capitalise [on] the situation and took my time and was not able to finish. I think the boys really played well. I think, at that period when I went in, I kind of did not play exactly how it was supposed to be,” Hardik said in the post-match presentation

As captain too, Hardik made some calls that raised debate. He tried to bowl out his pacers early in the game, a move that did not pay off at all.

When asked about his thought process while deciding bowling changes in Lauderhill, Hardik said: “It is what I feel at that moment. I don’t plan much about it. If I see the situation and if I believe which is a better option, I generally prefer that. It’s not rocket science, it’s just whatever my gut says at that time.”

The 29-year-old also highlighted the significance of considering the larger perspective, even if it required accepting a few defeats while striving for that objective.

“All these (bilateral) games are the games where we are going to learn. It’s something which we have spoken in the group that anything which is difficult, we are going to try that and make sure that we get better. One series (loss) here and there is fine. It’s a longer process which I don’t think we need to explain much on it. But overall, the boys are committing to the cause which is very exciting.

“We have enough time to figure out what is supposed to be done in T20s. Sometimes losing is good because it teaches you a lot of things. It does not cover up the messes which you do but I think, on the positive side, there is a lot of learning which we as a group have learned and special mention to all the boys,” he said.

The loss on Sunday was India’s first T20I series loss under the captaincy of Hardik Pandya. It also broke India’s streak of 12 consecutive unbeaten bilateral series as the Asian side fell to their first series defeat in men’s T20Is in more than two years.

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