The Indian head coach, Rahul Dravid has showered praises on Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya, who led India’s batting line-up in the Manchester ODI as the visitors defeated England, saying the composure the two young cricketers showcased under pressure was exceptional. Rahul Dravid said the knocks from Pant and Hardik were heartening to see and they gave the rest of the team a big boost in confidence.
Pant smashed his first ODI ton (125 not out from 113 balls) while Hardik played a brilliant knock of 71 from just 55 balls as India recovered from 72 for 4 to chase down 261 in just 42.1 overs. India was in a spot of bother after having lost the big guns, including captain Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli quite early in the innings. Suryakumar Yadav went for 16 but Pant and Hardik kept the chase alive by keeping the scoreboard moving.
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Talking about Hardik and Pant, Rahul Dravid said, “The way Hardik and Rishabh responded, was absolutely superb. it was really good to see them (do well) under pressure with the series on the line. To play an innings like Hardik did and like Rishabh did, it was pretty heartening for us.”
Notably, skipper Rohit Sharma also lauded the character shown by Hardik and Pant, saying it was heartening to see the middle-order stepping up after an off-day for India’s top-order. Meanwhile, head coach Dravid reserved special praise for India’s bowling attack that bundled out England for 259 in the ODI series decider.
Before he played a brilliant knock of 71, Hardik Pandya shone with the ball, scalping 4 wickets as he led the attack from the front in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah.
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Describing the same, Rahul Dravid said, “He (Hardik) was fantastic with the ball, I thought he was truly exceptional. That was a really good wicket. To be able to restrict a team like England for 260, was a really good effort. We picked up a few wickets up front, they built a partnership. But I thought our tactics and our strategy was absolutely brilliant. At the backend, to bowl the short ball and put the fielders in place, a real credit to the team and the captain for working out the strategies and executing them well.”