Indian former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni used to carry two-three additional bowling options in his team apart from the five main bowlers. Getting wickets from part-time bowlers was said to be the trump card of his captaincy. Most of the time for Dhoni, this work was done by bowlers like Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina. Whereas Mahi used to take some overs from other bowlers as well. But it has been seen for some time that Team India comes on the field with 5 or the main bowling option, due to which Team India has to bear the brunt many times. But Hardik Pandya’s thinking is different. During the 2nd T20I against New Zealand, he used 6 bowlers keeping himself out of the bowling wickles. Hardik’s 6th bowler was Deepak Hooda who bowled 2.5 overs and took maximum 4 wickets. After the match, Hardik said that he expected other batsmen to contribute with the bowling.
Pandya said after the match, “Nothing can get better than this. Everyone contributed but it was definitely a special innings from Surya. We would have been happy with 170-175 as well. The bowlers did well and it was about being aggressive in the mindset. It doesn’t mean taking wickets with every ball but being aggressive with the ball is important. The ground was very wet so credit goes to the bowlers. I have bowled a lot, in future I want to see more bowling options. Not that it will always work but I want more batsmen to contribute with the ball.
Former players like Anil Kumble and Michael Vaughan had pointed out the lack of bowling options in the Indian team after their exit from the T20 World Cup and advocated the inclusion of more batting all-rounders in the team. Pandya, who is captaining the team in the absence of Rohit Sharma, said that his job as captain is to give the team the right atmosphere in the dressing room.
“I expect him to be the professional that he is. Give them a chance to enjoy your game. It’s about creating an environment where they are all in a happy place. I see many times in this team that all the players are happy with each other’s success and that is important.