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October 1, 2023


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“These Guys Are Young, But…” Hardik Pandya On India’s Squad For New Zealand T20Is

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The first T20I between India and New Zealand, at Wellington, didn’t see even a minute of action as persistent rain forced the organisers to abandon the match on Friday. The rain-affected match understandably spoiled the mood in the Indian camp as a number of young stars were deprived of the opportunity to showcase their skills. Hardik Pandya, speaking to the broadcaster after the match was abandoned, spoke about the young guns coming into the tour, and lauded them for the quality and experience they bring despite being at the start of their careers.

The likes of Umran Malik, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, etc. have gotten another opportunity to prove themselves in the T20I series, having done wonders in the Indian Premier League.

“Boys were quite excited to play. NZ is a great country, great place to play. Unfortunate to not get a game. A lot of people came quite early as well, we were excited but this is something we as professional cricketers need to accept. I know the other boys will follow exactly what the management and captain would say, they are all professionals. These guys are young by age, but not by experience. They have played plenty of IPL and got good amount of Internationals as well. I think the youngsters of today don’t get intimidated by not having played too much cricket,” he said.

When asked if the series gives players like him an opportunity to try themselves at different positions, Hardik said that would only happen if the situation demands.

“If the situation demands, me and the more experienced players will play different roles, but this tour is for the new guys to get more clarity, opportunities and a chance to express themselves,” he said.

As for the recently concluded T20 World Cup, Hardik said he has already left it behind.

“The World Cup is done, I’ve left it behind. The disappointment will be there, but we can’t go back and change things. We’re now looking forward to this series,” Hardik concluded.

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