Hardik Pandya has become one of the biggest names in Indian cricket and an inseparable part of the Indian team. The all-rounder believes he has evolved over the years and is now happy to take up other roles, drawing similarity to his idol and close friend MS Dhoni.
“See, to be honest, I’ve always enjoyed hitting sixes, but I have to evolve and that is life. I have to take the other part where I’ve always believed in partnerships. I want to give my team and the other person more calmness and the assurance that at least I’m there,”Hardik told reporters after a 2-1 T20I series victory over New Zealand, which concluded on Wednesday.
Hardik, who has never shied away from expressing his admiration for India’s greatest limited overs captain MS Dhoni, added that he would not mind playing a role the current Chennai Super Kings skipper used to play in the second half of his career.
“Maybe I have to get my strike rate down or… Taking new opportunities or taking new roles is [something] I’ve always looked forward to. I don’t mind coming in and playing the role which somewhere down the line Maahi [Dhoni] used to play,”he added.
In the third T20I, Hardik played second fiddle, feeding a strike to Shubman Gill, who went on to smash the highest T20I score by an Indian player. Pandya himself finished with 30 off 17 – strike rate of 176.47.
The 29-year old all-rounder has also evolved with the ball as well, bowling consistently in the powerplay. Hardik admitted that he has been working on his new ball bowling skills and wants to take up that role, which makes their bowling attack more flexible. Since the beginning of the home season, he has bowled 12 overs in the powerplay with two wickets while conceding at 7.17 runs per over.