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Hardik Pandya: If I go down, I will go down on my terms

India continued their juggernaut and won yet another bilateral series at home, diminishing New Zealand by a mammoth 168 runs in the third T20I of the series.

While Hardik Pandya was happy with the way his side performed and dedicated his player of the series award to the squad along with support staff, Mitchell Santner was obviously left disappointed.

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“I don’t mind winning (man of the series award), but there were so many performances here that were exceptional. This Man of the Series and trophy goes out to the whole support staff and the team,” Hardik Pandya said at the post-match presentation.

Hardik also spoke about his captaincy stating that he didn’t have to do too much tactical thinking and it was usual for him. “Not really, to be honest, I always play the game like this (On doing out-of-the-box things tactically). I try to read what is required, not have preconceived ideas.”

Hardik’s decision to bat first in Ahmedabad after winning the toss was questioned manifold times, but the Indian win and its mannerism cleared the doubts anyone had.

“In my captaincy, I look to keep it simple and back my gut. I have a simple rule, if I go down, I will go down on my terms. So at the end of the day, I take calls on my own because I like to take ownership,” Hardik said.

Hardik further exemplified the IPL 2022 final wherein he led Gujarat Titans to victory and justified his decision to bat first.

“We’ve spoken about taking challenges in the dressing room. When we played the IPL final, we felt the second innings was more spicy.

“We want to normalise these pressure games, and hopefully we can do better at bigger stages. Hopefully, we can continue performing like this,” Hardik concluded.

Meanwhile, it must be disappointing for the Kiwis to lose in such a disheartening manner and the biggest margin for a full-member nation.

“It was disappointing. It would be nice to take the trophy but credit to India, they played outstanding. Some of their guys are in great nick at the moment. It is tough to win when you lose five (wickets) in the powerplay,” Mitchell Santner said at the presentation.

“It can be challenging when the ball is swinging. If you look at the way India played, they took their time early on and when it got flat, they really had a go at us,” Santner further said praising the Indian team.

New Zealand, however, were with a depleted side as several of their senior pros were rested and out of action. However, when they tour India back later this year for the 50-over World Cup, they will expect better performances from their squad.

“I guess that time of the year there will be some dew around, most teams might bowl first (On the 50-over World Cup later this year). We’ve seen some great wickets, if it is like that in October it will be a great World Cup to be part of and to learn. I think 320 would be the score we’d want to restrict teams to then,” Santner added.

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