India’s deputy skipper in ODIs, Hardik Pandya is elated with the return of regular skipper Rohit Sharma for the ongoing three-match series against Sri Lanka. Hardik said Rohit’s return has made him relax a bit and focus more on his well-being as a player. Notably, Hardik Pandya led India to a 2-1 win in a three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka in Rohit’s absence earlier this month.
Talking about the same to the broadcasters, Hardik Pandya said, “Ro (Rohit Sharma) is back so it is much more relaxed. I can focus more on my well-being and try to share all my knowledge. If they need my help or advice, I’m always there. The body is very good, we are following a plan and the workload is being managed rightly with the WC just 6-7 months away.”
Hardik Pandya revealed that he had requested Axar Patel to make more contributions with the bat and the all-rounder worked tremendously to improve his batting.
Pandya explained, “It has made a big difference, the only request I had from him was more contribution from his batting. He has worked tremendously, helps my life knowing Axar is after me, helps the team play a certain balance. He’s upped his game massively in the recent past, makes the team feel more confident.”
Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka won the toss and opted to bat first against India in the second ODI of the ongoing three-match series here at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday. The hosts have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after they edged past Sri Lanka by 67 runs in the opening ODI.
Speaking at the time of the toss, Rohit Sharma said, “Wanted to bat first because of how we played last time, but looking at this ground, I wanted to field. Overall, improvements are as a team, nothing in particular. What we’ve done in the past is in the past, we need to look ahead and keep doing better. I love playing here, the crowd is also energetic and that always motivates me. But it is in the past, I need to start fresh. One enforced change for us, Chahal in the last game put in a dive and hasn’t recovered well today, so Kuldeep Yadav comes in.”