Mohali: Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya said the team will not put too much pressure on Jasprit Bumrah and give him ample time to make his comeback from an injury after the pacer was not included in India’s playing XI for the first T20I against Australia here.
Bumrah was missed badly in the series opener against Australia on Tuesday as the visitors chased down 209 rather comfortably to register a four-wicket win and take the lead in the three-match series. Barring Axar Patel, all Indian bowlers leaked more than 11 runs per over.
Bumrah, who did not play the Asia Cup due to a back injury, has been named in the T20 World Cup squad and the preceding series against Australia and South Africa.
“We all know what he brings to the table and how important he is for us. There will be concerns here and there (about bowling) which is fine. We got to trust our boys. These are the best 15 in the country and that is why they are there in the squad,” Hardik said.
“Jasprit not being there obviously makes a big difference. He is coming back after an injury, it is important for him to get enough time to kind of come back and may be not put a lot of pressure on himself.”
Hardik smashed 71 not out off 30 balls to take India past 200. He has been the team’s stand out player ever since his comeback post the IPL.
Talking about his performances of late, he said: “I have gotten a lot of success recently but for me, what is more important is that even on my good days how can I get better? The kind of career graph I have had, I don’t make a big deal about my performances whether success or failure.
“I had a good game today (Tuesday night). They could target me in the next game and I need to be one step ahead.”
Australia went hammer and tongs in the run chase, making a mockery of the Indian attack.
Hardik gave credit to the opposition batters.
“There was no dew. You have to give credit to them the way they batted. They played good cricket. We could not execute our plans with the ball, with our deliveries.
“You can’t pin point why we lost. It is a game. It is a bilateral series. We got two more matches and we will try to perform better.”
He also praised Cameron Green, who smashed 61 off 30 balls on his opening debut and shocked the Indians with his assault.
“Good on him the way he played. We have seen a lot of videos but it is all about executing your plans. He played some good shots and credit where it is due,” added Hardik.