India and New Zealand faced off in a three-match T20I series that ended on November 22, Tuesday and the third match ended in a draw by the DLS method. As things stand, Sanju Samson’s exclusion from all three matches became the talk of the town and the fans left no stone unturned to rip apart the Indian cricket board, the team management and the Indian captain Hardik Pandya for the same.
However, post the conclusion of the series, when asked about Samson, Pandya said that the right-handed batter was dropped for ‘strategic reasons’ and added that the player himself knew that it was not for personal reasons.
“I am a people’s man and if anyone feels otherwise, my doors are always open to come and have chat with me. I understand their feelings. Sanju Samson is an unfortunate case. We had to play him but for some strategic reason, we couldn’t play him,” Pandya was quoted as saying.
Commenting on the same, veteran Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, said that the Indian skipper was right to come up with a mature opinion and added that it was a bit MS Dhoni-esque, given Pandya is often compared to the former Indian wicketkeeper when it comes to maintaining composure.
“I don’t know if he wanted to say that in Thala Dhoni’s style because we all know that Hardik is super close to Thala Dhoni. He handled a tricky question that is always trending on social media very beautifully. So, kudos to Hardik,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.
He came out with all guns blazing: Ravichandran Ashwin
Further, Ashwin claimed that Pandya replicated his innings from the Indian T20 League when he came out ‘all guns blazing’ for the team in most of the games and eventually played a crucial role in helping the team reach the summit clash of the game. To add more, Gujarat eventually went on to win the title post defeating Rajasthan in the finals.
“Hardik Pandya replicated what he did for Gujarat with the bat. He came out with all guns blazing. That was the only reason the match got tied,” said Ashwin further on his YouTube channel when commenting on Pandya’s statement.