“Obviously, I’ve enjoyed bowling,” Hardik said after India secured a 2-1 series lead. “Again I’ve mentioned multiple times, that was the reason I felt I should take some time off to make sure my bowling comes off because I’ve realised when I bowl, it gives a lot of balance to the side; it gives a lot of confidence to the captain.
“Yes, I used to bowl before. I used to be a filler in between when someone is not bowling well. I can probably say I can bowl four overs now as a third seamer or a fourth seamer where I can contribute equally as I do with the bat.”
“For me, it’s the approach that I’m following,” Hardik said. “I understood that if you enjoy life and be in a frame of mind where you are positive, eventually a lot of the time the result goes your way. So, for me, it’s not about the result. It’s about how I take the game on, how smart I’m thinking and how I can make sure I use the situation and condition[s] which is offering me something with the bat or the ball.”
“How we bowled in the middle overs [was pleasing],” Rohit said. “I think that was very, very crucial because they were about to get that big [opening] partnership and with few of their experienced players batting in the middle and I thought we used the conditions really well. We used our variations pretty well and then how we chased the runs, I thought it was quite clinical.”
Being appointed T20I vice-captain for the West Indies tour has raised his game to a new level, Hardik has said. Earlier this year, he captained Gujarat Titans to IPL glory in their first season and then oversaw India’s 2-0 sweep of a spirited Ireland side in Malahide.
“I’ve always enjoyed responsibility and it has added more and more to my game,” Hardik said. “Whenever I’ve taken the responsibility, it has added some more flair to my game because it makes me think more and when I think more it just adds more value to my cricket.”
“Obviously, very privileged to get the opportunity to be vice-captain,” Hardik said. “When the captain gives you a lot of flexibility and lot of freedom, which is his strength throughout his captaincy stint, whenever I’ve played with him… and here as well a lot of credit goes to him on how they’ve got the team together and making sure that a lot of positive mindset comes in and at the same point of time players are feeling secure. They’re not looking over their shoulder, making sure they’re getting ample chances, and they are being told as well if they’re not playing.”