Hardik Pandya: I make sure youngsters feel they belong at this level


Captaining a young side could be tricky but Hardik Pandya, who led India to a 2-1 series win over Sri Lanka, feels it was not that difficult as he just had to ensure that they “belong at this level.”

The three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka saw the Indian set-up begin a new era under the leadership of Pandya.

“It’s actually not that difficult. My life becomes very easy, when the experienced players are there, I don’t say much to them because they are here because they have done a lot of good things in their lives,” Pandya said after leading the team to a series win in Rajkot here on Saturday.

The Indian team had none of the three senior batters in Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, while the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah were also not there for various reasons.

Backing his young group of players, the new India skipper said they would make mistakes but it is important to 
accept and learn from them.

“Managing is not difficult, but yes it’s a young group. They will make mistakes, they will learn from them. It is something that we have emphasised that once you make a mistake you make sure you learn from it. 

“But when a young team is there, the only thing I can help them is about giving them confidence, how to make sure they are at a level, when they are playing here, they feel that they belong here.

Also Read: He is just telling us that batting is so easy: Hardik Pandya on Suryakumar Yadav

“That is very important in international cricket. In this group, it’s a very good journey. Youngsters are willing to learn and it makes my journey very easy.”

India began the series by edging out a settled Sri Lanka side under Dasun Shanaka by two runs in the first game in Mumbai. In the second T20I in Pune, India fell by the wayside chasing a stiff 207, while in the series-decider Suryakumar Yadav led the show with an unbeaten 112 from 51 balls to propel the hosts to 228-5, a target that proved too much for the Lankans who folded for 137 in 16.4 overs.

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