IND vs ENG, 1st T20I: Fifty or four-wicket haul? Hardik Pandya picks his favourite performance – Check here | Cricket News

Talismanic India all-rounder Hardik Pandya had a dream outing in the first T20I against England at Southampton on Thursday as he claimed a four-wicket haul and smashed a fifty helping India beat England by 50 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. After his impressive performances with the bat and with the ball, India kept his bowling performance ahead of the batting knock. 

“I will give equal importance to my batting and bowling today. That 50 was important as well because we had lost wickets, but we maintained the momentum and we reached a good score,” said Hardik in a post-match press conference. “But the bowling bit will take more credit because that spell brought us in the game and made it difficult for England to stay in the game,” he added.

The all-rounder also said that he is not thinking much about his future as he is currently focusing on his game for Team India. “Obviously, right now I am not thinking much about what I’ll be playing in the future and all that. Right now, I am focusing on as many games, I am available for India, that will be my intention. And talking about today’s performance, obviously, it is always good to perform when your team requires and when your team wins,” said Hardik.

“For me, it was simple, what my team required and doing what I know. I believe the hard work pays off, my point is to prepare well, but the result is not in my control. Right now, all is coming off, today is a good day, and tomorrow might be bad. So, you don’t know, it is all about working hard, life goes on,” he added.

Debutant Arshdeep Singh and spinner Yuzvendra Chahal scalped two wickets each while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel took one a piece and restricted England to 148. “We as a team, it is a very confidence booster. Our regular five players are not there, and they will join so the team will get better only. The new guys are expressing themselves; India’s bench strength is increasing and it is seeming like there is a change in culture,” said the all-rounder.

“You talked about batting, it is a conscious effort, credit goes to Rahul Dravid and the management, they said to do one thing and just express yourself. When there is so much clarity, it is a big confidence booster. When we get out while hitting a shot, we don’t think like oh no, what shot we have played. So, credit goes to the coaches,” he added.

Coming to the match, all-round performance from Hardik Pandya took India’s total to 198/8 in the first innings. Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, and Deepak Hooda also scored 24, 39, and 33 runs, respectively. For England, Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan scalped two wickets each, while Topley, Tymal Mills, and Parkinson took one wicket each.

Later, debutant Arshdeep Singh and spinner Yuzvendra Chahal scalped two wickets each while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel took one a piece and restricted England at 148. Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan were the picks among the batters as they scored 36 and 26* runs, respectively.

Both the teams will be squaring off for the second T20I on Saturday at Birmingham.

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