Hardik’s candid review: How India’s strategy backfired

Following a four-run loss to the West Indies in the first T20I match at the Brian Lara Stadium on Thursday, Hardik Pandya emerged with a spirited post-defeat review.

Despite the missed opportunity to take the lead in the five-match series, Pandya showcased a composed and optimistic outlook for the Indian cricket team.

“We were right in the chase. We made some errors which cost us, but it is fine,” Pandya stated, referring to India’s pursuit of 150, a target which eventually settled at a close 145 for 9.

Being a firm believer in the T20 cricket format’s unspoken rules, Pandya conceded, “If you lose wickets, it becomes difficult to chase down a total. When we lost a couple of wickets (in a row)… it cost us.”

India surprised everyone by opting to play with three spinners – Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Axar Patel. Pandya explained this strategy, saying, “The bowling combination (of three spinners) was down to the conditions. We wanted Yuzi and Kuldeep to play together, and Axar brings batting.”

Pandya was particularly impressed by Tilak Varma and Mukesh Kumar, both of whom made their T20I debuts in the match. Varma, who also donned the India colours for the first time, put on a lively performance with a quickfire 39 off 22 balls with the help of 2 fours and 3 sixes.

Meanwhile, Mukesh Kumar demonstrated great promise in a tough game situation.

“For Mukesh to have these two weeks and make his debut was fantastic. Very pleasing to see the way Tilak started his innings,” Hardik said.

  • India in West Indies 2023

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