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Important we play every match like a WC final, says Hardik

Hardik Pandya.

Hardik Pandya. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

As Hardik Pandya leads India’s limited-overs side in the two-match T20I series against Ireland, beginning on Sunday, he said that henceforth each and every game will be crucial for the team and should be treated with the same intensity as the World Cup final.

“The first thing I told this group is that this is a challenge - mainly mentally because it is easy to say that we are playing against Ireland, but I don’t want that mindset in my team. When you are playing for India, it’s a matter of pride and if we want to win the T20 World Cup, from hereon, each and every match will be important and it is important that we play them like a World Cup final,” Hardik said on Saturday.

With barely four months left for the T20 World Cup, Hardik feels that these matches will help the team improve. “If you work hard every day, eventually you will get better in the longer run and that will help the Indian team. That’s something I told the boys that it does not matter who our opponents are, we have to focus on every game and consider that this is our biggest match to get better.”

On the same path

With Rahul Dravid busy with the red-ball team for the Test against England, V.V.S. Laxman has been drafted as the head coach of the T20I squad. “It’s about making sure that in the group we keep the same intensity which we generally keep, even if we are playing the World Cup or a big series. It comes down to the mental state and how better you can get because playing two matches it’s not easy in terms of getting yourself pumped up, but at the same time, we are playing for India, so we will have to play our A game, which we will,” Hardik said.

“The conversations between me and the coach (Laxman) have been simple. He is on the same path where we want to make sure the attitude and approach is the same as we play in any other game or maybe the World Cup game. He is here to make sure that the culture and the pathway towards the World Cup, which is set by Rahul Sir and Rohit Sharma will be the same and we’re going to be following that…”

Match starts at 9 p.m.


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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 4:05:06 am | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/important-we-play-every-match-like-a-wc-final-says-hardik/article65565586.ece