“Ruturaj had a calf niggle”, Says Hardik During Ireland vs India Post Match Presentation

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Ireland vs India Post Match Presentation
Ireland vs India 1st T20I(Image: BCCI)

Hardik Pandya who led the Indian T20I team to beat Ireland in the 1st match of the India tour of Ireland 2022 explains how his players stepped up during a rain-shortened game.

Hardik’s speech during Ireland vs India Post Match Presentation

Much-awaited Ireland vs India T20I match has been delayed due to rain which later was reduced to 12 overs. Winning the toss India let the hosts bat first. With Harry Tector’s unbeaten 64 runs off 33 balls led Ireland to score 108 runs at the end of the 12 overs.

Team India chased down the target within 10 overs and register their first victory of the 2-match T20I series.

“The start that Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar Kumar] gave, taking the first wicket and a wicket in the second over, it was a perfect start,” said Hardik.

“But the wicket played really well, it had rained so much but even then the wicket played really well. The way we pulled it back, like how Yuzi [Yuzvendra Chahal] bowled…not give away easy runs.

At one point it looked like they could even get to 120. And in between we were a batsman short as well, so it was an important phase where the bowlers pulled it back and restricted Ireland,” said Pandya after the game.

“Obviously Bhuvi everyone knows what his caliber is as a bowler. He always comes and does the same thing but sometimes his work goes under the carpet, he’s not talked about a lot.

But if you look at history, and the way he has performed then he commands a lot of respect and he deserves to get it too. For me, Bhuvi is top class. And the same thing with Yuzi as well, he’s a matchwinner.

Whenever he gets the ball, I tell him to bowl what he wants to and he’ll help you win the match,” he added.

Deepak Hooda made the opening along with Ishan Kishan after Ruturaj Gaikwad suffered from a calf niggle. Making the opening Deepak Hooda paved the way for India’s victory with his unbeaten 47 runs off 29 balls.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad

“Ruturaj had a calf niggle, and we had a chance to send him out by taking some risk. But I was not okay. For me a player’s health is more important, the match will take care of itself.

So we didn’t make much of a change, whatever everyone’s number was we went one place up. And it was not much of a headache. It was important to make sure Rutu was not put under much risk and take much of a chance with him.

“And very happy for Hooda as well because at the last minute to know you’re going to open and then finish off the game, it shows character. Very happy for him,” said Pandya.

The skipper also admitted that there would be an effort to give players game time in preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.

“It’s early, but yes our ultimate goal will be to get better for the World Cup. And the whole management and all the boys who are not here, our goal is to make sure how can we get better for World Cup.

And this is one good step we’ve taken where intentionally our attitude and the kind of character we’re showing, it’s going to help us in the World Cup when the crunch game comes.

“You get experience while playing, that has been a constant effort from the management. And the guys they’re looking forward to, make sure they’re there in the World Cup squad or in the scheme of things.

They want to give them the best opportunity to get a couple of games under their belt, rather than just coming towards the World Cup and getting their first game.

So we want people to kind of settle in. And I’m sure by the time the World Cup comes, we’re going to get to a tighter squad,” he said.

The second and last T20I against Ireland will be played on June 28 in The Village, Dublin.