2nd T20I: T Natarajan deserved to be Man of the Match, says Hardik Pandya after Sydney heroics vs Australia


Australia vs India, 2nd T20I: Hardik Pandya also shed light on his finishing skills, saying his game relies on confidence but he makes sure it doesn’t become over-confidence during big chases.

2nd T20I: Hardik Pandya credits T Natarajan effort after Sydney heroics vs Australia (AP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hardik Pandya adjudged Man of the Match for his 22-ball 44 not out
  • Pandya said he thought Natarajan would have bagged the award in 2nd T20I
  • Natarajan fiinished with figures of 2/20 in his 4-over spell

All-rounder Hardik Pandya credited T Natarajan’s effort in helping India beat Australia in the 2nd T20I in Sydney, saying he thought the pacer should have been adjudged the Man of the Match for his game-changing spell on Sunday. Hardik was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 22-ball 42 not out which helped India chase down 195 for an unbeatable 2-0 series lead.

Hardik Pandya hit two huge sixes in the final over when India needed 14 runs in the final over bowled by Andrew Tye. The chase was perfectly set up by Shikhar Dhawan who hit a quickfire 58 after a strong opening stand with KL Rahul. Captain Virat Kohli stepped up and hit a 24-ball 40 after which Shreyas Iyer and Hardik completed the chase with some pyrotechnics at the death.

India vs Australia, 2nd T20I: Highlights | Report

Earlier in the day, it was T Natarajan who shone with the ball, picking up 2 wickets to finish with figures of 2/20 in his 4-over spell on a day when most India bowlers were taken to the cleaners. Natarajan got the wickets of D’Arcy Short and Moises Henriques to make a match-winning impact in just his 3rd international match.

“I thought Natarajan would have been Man of the Match. The other bowlers struggled and he really had a good game, he gave us a target about 10 runs lower than it would have been,” Hardik Pandya said.

India were in a spot of bother when Virat Kohli fell as early as the 16th over of the chase. Hardik was struggling to get his timing right in the initial phases of innings but when it mattered, the Mumbai Indians star stepped up and hit two huge sixes to finish off the chase.

India got to the target with 2 balls to spare as they sealed the T20I series and stitched a string of 3 successive wins in Australia.

My game relies on confidence, it’s not over-confidence: Pandya

Speaking about his ability to finish games well for India, Hardik Pandya said his game has always relied on confidence and he makes sure it doesn’t turn into over-confidence. Hardik shone in the ODI series at his new No. 6 role hitting two nineties.

“It’s very simple. I like to look at the scoreboard and play so that I know which bowlers to target. I have been in these situations many times and I learnt from my mistakes in the past.

“My game is always around the confidence which I carry, it has that fine line where I back myself and not become overconfident. I always remember all those times when we chased big totals and it helps. In T20s you actually have more time than you think. If we need 70-80 odd in 30 balls, I don’t look at the whole thing and I break it down to 12 balls and focus more on the process than the end result,” Pandya said.



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