Hardik Pandya Slams West Indies Board For Mismanagement
Indian captains and the post-match presentations after the final ODI of the series seem to be a contentious combination. From MS Dhoni to Hardik Pandya, they all seem to be quite open about making comments on matters related to matches.
Two weeks back, Harmanpreet Kaur, captain of the women’s team, faced heavy criticism and a two-match suspension for her behavior during the third ODI against Bangladesh and her comments against the umpires in the post-match presentation.
Similarly, Hardik Pandya, stand-in captain of the men’s team, expressed dissatisfaction with the arrangements made by the West Indies Cricket Board during their tour. After India’s 200-run victory over West Indies in the third ODI, Hardik did not conceal his displeasure about the travel plans and other arrangements.
Hardik, leading for the second time in a row in the absence of regular captain Rohit Sharma and star batter Virat Kohli, was asked about the facilities at Brian Lara Cricket Stadium in Tarouba, the venue for its first ODI, during the post-match presentation.
Hardik praised the atmosphere of the stadium but quickly shifted focus to point out the shortcomings of the West Indies Cricket Board. He complained about the lack of “basic necessities” and called on the hosts to address these issues in the future. West Indies cricket board has been under lot of scrutiny in recent times.
The Indian cricketers had previously expressed their dissatisfaction to the BCCI after their late-night flight from Trinidad to Barbados was delayed by nearly four hours, leaving them sleep-deprived before the ODI series opener. The senior cricketers requested the BCCI to avoid late-night flights when there is little time between matches.
“I Like To Be Unique”, Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya also made headlines for his witty response to former West Indies spinner Samuel Badree. Before the match, Badree asked him about the pressure of potentially losing an ODI series to West Indies for the first time in 17 years if India failed to win the decider giving tagt India was playing with relatively inexperienced team. Hardik jokingly replied, “It’s okay. I like to be unique.”
Not only was Hardik outspoken during the post-match presentation, but he also demonstrated his fiery attitude while batting against West Indies in the third ODI. Batting at No.5, he initially built a slow partnership with Shubman Gill then unleashed his attack in the last five overs of the Indian innings, contributing to India’s highest ODI score in the Caribbean islands. Hardik finished unbeaten on 70 off 52 balls, hitting five sixes and four boundaries.
The Indian bowlers dominated the West Indies batters after batters had done their job superbly. Mukesh Kumar took three wickets with the new ball, while Kuldeep Yadav and Shardul Thakur prevented any chance of a comeback. India bowled West Indies out for 151 runs in just 35.3 overs, securing their second-largest victory margin against them.