In exclusive conversations with Star Sports on “Follow the Blues LIVE,” Team India’s vice-captain, Hardik Pandya, shed light on the unique challenges and mindset of an all-rounder in the sport, emphasizing the importance of self-belief and adaptability to meet the team’s needs.

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports on Follow the Blues LIVE, Team India vice-captain Hardik Pandya spike on his role as an all-rounder in the side and how he backs himself before going in to bat or bowl, he said “As an all-rounder, my workload is twice or thrice as anyone else. When a batter in the team goes and bats and finishes his batting and is heading home, I’ll still be bowling after that. So for me, all the managing, all the pushing, and everything happens during the sessions or my training or my pre-camp season. When the game arrives, it is more about whatever the team requires, and the managing side goes out of the park, and it is more practical calls that how many overs are needed for me. Because if 10 overs are not needed, there is no point in me bowling 10 overs, but if 10 overs are needed, then I’ll be bowling.”

“I always believed that I give myself a chance to succeed, which is by reading the game, which is by backing myself because I have always believed that when we go as a believer, when I’m standing there, yes, my ten players, my ten brothers are around me, but at the same point of time I’m alone. When bowling, I have to back myself to the fullest because the opposition, the batter, they want me to make a mistake. At the same point of time, as a batter, yes, two people are batting, he is there with me fighting, but there are also eleven on the ground against me, and at the same point of time, it could be the crowd or anything. So what I have realized is that no matter what happens, you have to back yourself, you have to believe that you are the best in the world. That does not guarantee you success, but at the same point of time, it does give you and it does guide you to work towards success, so practically back yourself.”

Former Indian cricketer, Sanjay Manjrekar, lauded the remarkable performances of Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan in a recent game, highlighting their willingness to adapt to the situation and put the team’s interests first.

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports on Follow the Blues LIVE, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar spoke on how important Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan’s innings were in context to the previous game between India and Pakistan, he said “See the match that happened between India and Pakistan, there was no result to the match, but it was a great result for India, and the main result which India wanted was that contribution from Hardik Pandya, the runs, and Ishan Kishan also played well. And the two of them played so well because it was out of character. Both Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya. And the talk about Hardik is that he is a very aggressive player, whenever he wants he can hit massive sixes, but for almost 70 minutes, Hardik Pandya was only taking singles and building his innings because he had to play conservatively. 50 overs cricket is a game of singles, especially the middle phase, it is a very boring phase for both the crowd and the players, but both Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan played that boring phase, played their innings well, and brought India to a respectable position. So that was a very good result for India, that partnership and how they forgot their natural game and kept the team’s needs ahead of that. I think that was the best finding from that match.”

Additionally, Manjrekar discussed the intriguing battle between India’s top order and Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi, offering keen insights into how the Indian batsmen should prepare for this formidable challenge.

Manjrekar also spoke on how the Indian top order should prepare themselves to fave Shaheen Shah Afridi in the upcoming clash between India and Pakistan, he said “Actually, the match between India and Pakistan was a very interesting clash between Shaheen Afridi versus India’s 1, 2, and 3. Gill, Rohit, and Virat. The opening phase had two spells; in the first spell before the rain had come, he was bowling typical Shaheen Afridi kind of deliveries. He was bowling further up the pitch, trying to get the ball to swing inwards, and that length was being played very well by Shubhman Gill and Rohit Sharma. Shaheen Afridi, instead of bowling it up further, which he thought was his main weapon – to bring the ball up further and have it swing, was being played very well by the Indian team and the Indian openers.”

“After that, the rain happened, and Waqar Younis, who was in commentary with me, said that he should pull his length a bit back; it should be a little short. And after the rain, someone must have spoken to Shaheen Afridi, and after the break, he brought his length back and in that length, the good length, Rohit Sharma got out, and so did Virat. So it wasn’t the typical Shaheen Afridi kind of delivery that troubled the Indian batters, but the shorter length, meaning the movement from the pitch made them out. So they need to prepare for these kinds of deliveries as well, but for the main swinging delivery of Shaheen Afridi, the good news was that both Rohit Sharma and Shubhman Gill weren’t phased by that.”

Catch all the action of India Vs Pakistan at the Asia Cup 2023, September 10th, 2023, 3.00 pm (IST) onwards, LIVE & Exclusive on the Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar.

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