Hardik Pandya has said in a lighter vein that it is the opposition batsmen’s problem if they are unable to hit his slower deliveries even after knowing he is going to bowl them. The seam-bowling all-rounder troubled all the England batsmen with his eclectic mix of fast and slower balls in the 4th T20I to help India draw level in the series.
Hardik Pandya who didn’t bowl that much in Australia tour for back issues bowled 4 overs in the 4th T20I and was India’s most economical bowler returning with figures of 4/16. He had back surgery in 2019 following which he didn’t bowl in IPL 2020 to not risk aggravating his lower back pain.
Hardik Pandya Bowls Slower Balls Since Last 1 And 1/2 Years
During a post-match interview with Star Sports, Hardik Pandya was asked if resorting to the slower ones was a well-thought-out strategy or if he had spoken to teammates Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rohit Sharma, or Virat Kohli about it. The 27-year-old responded that slower deliveries have been his strength for some time and jokingly asked the batsmen to get better at hitting them.
“I have been bowling slower balls for the last one and a half years. Everyone knows I am a right-arm fast bowler but become an off-spinner in between. It is my strength and my fields are also unique. Everyone knows I bowl slower balls, but they can’t hit, so their problem,” said Pandya.
Hardik Pandya was the most economical bowler across the two teams in the fourth T20I. He conceded just 16 runs in his four overs, while also picking up the crucial wickets of Jason Roy and Sam Curran. He has featured in just 11 Tests since his debut in 2017, the last one being in England in 2018. Besides bowling a short spell during the second ODI against Australia in 2020, Hardik Pandya has played as a specialist batsman, including in the last IPL.
Hardik Pandya bowled in the 2nd ODI against and in Australia where he had figures of 1/24 in 4 overs where other bowlers went for plenty. He was the third-highest scorer and India’s leading run-getter in the ODIs by scoring 210 runs in 3 games, while he bagged the Player of the Series in the T20Is for his cameos in the 3 matches as he scored at a strike rate of 156-the highest in the 3 matches T20I series against Australia.
Hardik Pandya Stresses On Fitness More Than Bowling Action Which Was Remodelled
“Fitness has been very important because it is difficult to work on your action. I was working on that during the entire Test series but at the end of the day, the action changes when you are playing matches otherwise it feels in the nets that the action has changed,” said Pandya.
The Surat-born player is hoping that his body will be able to bear the burden of his bowling action if he becomes physically stronger.
“I am also thinking if I become strong, then automatically my body will be able to take more load and after that even if the action is slightly off, the body can cope up. I feel bowling is more a game of the mind. I think like a batsman and I feel that gives me an advantage,” concluded Pandya.
Hardik Pandya worked with Bharat Arun on remodelling his bowling action during the Test series against England. India will hope that the big-hitting all-rounder remains fit for the foreseeable future, especially with the T20 World Cup scheduled later in the year. Hardik Pandya has bowled 13 overs in the 4 T20Is against England picking up 2 scalps at an average of 42. His economy is 6.46.