Indian captains and post-match presentations after the final ODI of the series seem to be a fiery combination. After women’s team skipper Harmnapreet Kaur faced heavy criticism and also received a two-match ban for her conduct during the third ODI against Bangladesh and her words against the umpires at the post-match presentation, she was her stand-in captain men’s team, Hardik Pandya. challenging the arrangements made by the West Indies cricket board during their tour. After India beat the West Indies by 200 runs in the third ODI to seal the three-match series 2-1, Hardik made no attempt to hide his displeasure over the travel plans and other arrangements.
Hardik led for the second time in a row as regular captain Rohit Sharma and star Virat Kohli were again rested to give more opportunities to younger players like Sanju Samson and Ruturaj Gaikwad. At the post-match presentation ceremony, former West Indies opener and now renowned commentator Daren Ganga asked Hardik about the facilities at the Brian Cricket Stadium in Tarouba, which hosted his maiden ODI.
Hardik praised the stadium, calling it “one of the nicest” grounds, but the sportsman was quick to highlight the weaknesses of West Indies cricket during the India tour. Hardik continued to complain that he did not have “basic necessities” and wanted the hosts to take care of that in future.
‘Time for West Indies board to take notice’: Hardik Pandya not happy with arrangements in Caribbean
“This was one of the nicest pitches we have played. Things might be better when we come to the West Indies next time. From traveling to managing a lot of things. Last year also there were some hiccups. I think it’s time for West Indies cricket to take that into account and make sure that when a team travels… We don’t ask for luxury but we need some basic necessities. Other than that, I really enjoyed coming here and playing good cricket,” Hardik Pandya said on Tuesday.
The Indian cricketers had earlier expressed their displeasure to the BCCI after their late-night flight from Trinidad to Barbados was delayed by nearly four hours, leaving them sleep-deprived before the start of the ODI series. Senior cricketers have even asked the BCCI not to book late night flights when there is very little gap between matches.
Earlier in the day, Hardik also made news with his cheeky remark to former West Indies captain Samuel Badree, who asked the buzzer about the pressure of being the first Indian captain to possibly lose an ODI series to the West Indies India in 17 years if India fails. to win the decider. “It doesn’t matter. I like being unique,” Hardik said.
It wasn’t like Hardik was just breathing fire with the mic in hand. He was in a similar mood even when he was beating. Coming in at No. 5, Hardik took his time and then bowled the final five overs of India’s innings to take their total to 351/5 – India’s highest ODI score in the Caribbean islands. Hardik remained unbeaten on 70 off 52 balls with five sixes and four boundaries to his name.
The West Indies batters were no match for the Indian bowlers. Mukesh Kumar picked up three wickets with the new ball to push the hosts back and then Kuldeep Yadav and Shardul Thakur gave them no chance to recover. India bowled out West Indies for 151 in just 35.3 overs to register their second biggest win (in terms of margin of victory) against them.
“As a captain, I want to be in pressure situations”: Hardik Pandya
“It’s a special win. To be honest, I look forward to these kinds of games as a captain where there’s something on the line. This was more than just an international game. We knew what was at stake and there would have been a lot of disappointment if we lost. The boys showed great character. They enjoyed it too, in pressure situations it’s important to enjoy it too. You don’t become a hero without handling pressure,” Hardik said.
Hardik praised the bowlers for setting up the match and also praised his young bowlers for completing the match in the powerplay itself. “Scoring 350 was always crucial. When you have a set like that, the batters chase the ball and if luck is on your side, the batters will beat it. Some very good catches by Gill. West Indies woke up very late and there was this partnership that took them to 34. The game was kind of over on the powerplay itself.”
Hardik will lead the way in the five-match T20I series against the West Indies starting on Thursday at the same venue.
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