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‘It is a very special feeling to lead the country’ – Hardik Pandya

Florida, Aug 9, (Fast Mail News):-- Post the T20I series win (4-1) against West Indies, the skipper of the Indian team in the fifth T20I, Hardik Pandya said that he was happy to lead the national side. Pandya also added that India will now focus on getting better as a team before the T20 World Cup in October.

 

“It's very special feeling to get a chance to lead your country. Obviously winning the game means a lot to me. Captain Ro did everything well before this game, so I just ensured that we kept doing the good work,” said Pandya in the post-match presentation.

 

Talking about taking up the role of captaincy, Pandya said, “Why not? If given a chance, I'll be more than happy to do it. But for now, we have a World Cup coming, it's about getting better as a team.”

 

The Indian skipper also said that the players play with freedom and are not worried about failing.

 

“The kind of talented players we have and the freedom we're getting, this is the New India. I can see players playing with freedom and not worrying about failing. And when you do that, you tend to do special things,” added Pandya. 

 

 

Talking about the team's preparation for the T20 World Cup, Pandya said, “Preparation-wise we're ready for the World Cup but in this sport, you never stop learning. So it's about learning with each game.”

 

Axar Patel, who returned figures of 3-1-15-3 in the 5th T20I and won the Player of the Match award said that his focus is to keep things simple and use the advantage of the surface.

 

“ I was just focusing on keeping things simple, instead of trying too many things. Was just looking to use the surface to my advantage. The surfaces (in this series) have been helpful for me, so that has proved advantageous to me. Both in the ODIs and T20s, the pitches were fairly same,” said Patel.

 

On being asked about his all-rounder tag, Patel added, “I don't mind people calling me just an all-rounder, if I do well with the ball, I'll be a bowling all-rounder, if with the bat, then a batting all-rounder.”

 

The Player of the Series Arshdeep Singh (7 wickets) said that the team is focused on the process and the atmosphere in the dressing room is really good.

 

“As Rahul (Dravid) Sir says, we are a process-based team. We are just looking to do the process properly, not thinking too much about the results and that's what is helping me in my bowling. It's about being adaptable (as a bowler) and a lot of credit goes to the team management for giving me clarity. The way the youngsters are being backed is nice, the feel of the dressing room is really good. Helps as a youngster to come in and do whatever you do in your IPL teams/State teams,” said Singh.

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