Sydney, Oct 26 (SocialNews.XYZ) Citing the balance and experience which Hardik Pandya brings to the Indian team, bowling coach Paras Mhambrey quashed the possibility of him or any other player in the side being rested from Thursday's Super 12 match against the Netherlands at the Sydney Cricket Ground, saying that the fast-bowling all-rounder wants to play all matches in the tournament.
Pandya had been one of the main architects in India's thrilling four-wicket victory over Pakistan in their T20 World Cup opening match at a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground, picking 3/30 in four overs of pace and making 40 off 37 balls while sharing a match-winning stand of 113 off 77 deliveries with Virat Kohli (82 not out off 53 balls) for the fifth wicket in a chase of 160.
Though by the end of the innings Pandya had some cramps, there were speculations that he could be rested from India's second Group 2 match against the Netherlands. But Mhambrey brushed all of those talks aside.
"The strategy is that Hardik wants to play all matches, which is an important thing. We are not looking at resting anybody and that sort of thinking is not there for any player. Hardik is a very important player for us. He adds to the balance, bowls and bats as well. Other than that, the attitude which he has on the ground is of note, just like he played a crucial innings in the last match," he said in the pre-match press conference.
With India in deep trouble at 31/4 in chasing 160 against Pakistan, Kohli and Pandya took their time before unleashing a stunning fightback to get victory on the last ball of the chase. Mhambrey went on to explain about the importance of Pandya's role in propelling Kohli to spearhead the successful chase under immense pressure.
"Yes, Virat had finished the game for us. But there's a stage, where you need an experienced player, who can recognise a moment like if we take this game till the end, pressure will obviously shift on them. To acknowledge that, we do need the experience. So, in the performance of Virat, you can give lots of credit to Hardik because when he went inside, the conditions were difficult and were 31 for the loss of four wickets, which was not an easy phase.
"But the discussion which an experienced player brings and the discussions which happen, due to that, Virat got a lot of help. Hardik adds that balance to the team; he has the game, but other than that, he has played a lot of cricket and the experience he adds is irreplaceable. We aren't even talking about the decisions to rest anyone, because we see that every match is important till the finals."
Quizzed on whether Pandya bowling his four full overs will direct India to get an extra batter in the playing eleven, Mhambrey felt the move is completely dependent upon the conditions on offer for any particular match in the tournament.
"It's good that Hardik gives you four overs options and that's what we wanted. He brings a lot of balance to the team. He's been very effective for us; he's picked wickets for us and that's important. Getting a batter in or the different combinations will purely depend on the team we are playing and also the conditions."
Mhambrey signed off by reiterating that the Indian team management isn't looking to rest anyone from certain matches in future. "When you have the momentum going in a tournament, you need individuals to be in form as well. For someone who haven't got the opportunity to bat, so every game becomes important and aren't looking at resting anybody."