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Hardik Pandya ‘Rusty’, Batting “A Concern”: India Captain Under Fire After Series Loss vs West Indies

Team India miserably failed with both bat and ball during the fifth T20I against West Indies as the hosts clinched an eight-wicket win on Sunday. With this win, West Indies also claimed the five-match series with 3-2 scoreline. It was a disappointing day for the Indian side as West Indies chased down the target of 166 in just 18 overs. After the loss, Indian players, especially skipper Hardik Pandya have been facing immense criticism from former cricketers and fans for the dismal performance.

Former India opener Wasim Jaffer called Hardik’s poor batting a “concern” and stated that it looked “rusty” as the all-rounder was not free-flowing.

“Well, it has been a concern. He looks little rusty. We can’t see that the free-flowing Hardik Pandya who comes in and strikes it sweetly. Doesn’t mean hitting sixes but striking it nicely, rotating the strike. Apart from the fifty he scored in the 3rd ODI, where also he started very very slowly, and picked it up in the slog overs. But even then he looked a little rusty,”

“That’s a concern for me. Looking at how Hardik Pandya batted in the series, that was a big concern. Not every time he is going to start slowly, and he is going to finish strongly. We could see this during this series as well. As soon as he comes, the momentum drops down, the strike-rate comes down and puts the pressure on the other guys and the dug out as well. Something for him to worry, take note and improve,” he added.

After the series, Hardik stated that he failed to capitalize on the situation during the fifth T20I as Team India was restricted to 165/9 in 20 overs.

“We lost the momentum when I came in and couldn’t capitalize on the situation. I believe we gonna challenge ourselves. We try to get better. In hindsight, it is fine. We don’t need to explain much. I know how the boys are within the group. We have enough time to figure out. Losing is good at times,” said Hardik in a post-match presentation.

“On the positive side, we have done a lot of learnings. The boys showed character. Credit to them. They kept coming and tried something new. It is part of the process. It is what I feel at that moment,” he added.

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