Mahela Jayawardene had a candid chat with Hardik Pandya on the eve of the match against SRH [Image- Screengrab/MI Insta]
Mumbai Indians‘ swashbuckling batter Hardik Pandya enjoyed an outing in the nets on the eve of the defending champions’ last league stage fixture against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. The right-hander felt his intent was to play without worrying about getting out as opposed to his previous batting sessions.
Pandya opened up about his thought process during a candid chat with head coach Mahela Jayawardene.
In a video shared by MI’s Instagram handle, Pandya told Jayawardene:
“Today why I am enjoying is.. even when I’m missing, my intent is to play. So what conservative I was talking about that, oh, I don’t have to get out (in the nets)… I have to play compact. So, in that my extensions weren’t happening.”
Watch the video here:
Hardik Pandya hasn’t had the best of years with the bat in either international cricket or in the current IPL season.
In 10 innings at IPL 2021, the Baroda cricketer has managed just 117 runs at an average of 14.62 and a strike rate of 112.5. With the T20 World Cup right around the corner, he will be hoping to get a few runs under his belt to regain confidence.
“Just talk to yourself” – Mahela Jayawardene to Hardik Pandya
Meanwhile, coach Mahela also had a few words of advice for Hardik.
The legendary Sri Lankan cricketer asked Pandya junior to “stop the commentary” while batting in the nets and just talk to himself whenever he felt he’d made an error. Jayawardene said:
“And the other thing when you are practising as well, stop the commentary. Don’t talk to the bowlers.. telling them it’s a good length….[stuff] like that.. You don’t do that in a match. You just talk to yourself. You know if you do something wrong. You do whatever you do to yourself.”
Mumbai will face the Sunrisers in Abu Dhabi on Friday (October 8) night. The defending champions are all but out of the competition following KKR’s 86-run win over Rajasthan on October 7.
For Mumbai to pip Kolkata on net run-rate, they’ll have to first ensure they win the toss and bat first and then try to win the game by 170+ runs.
The task looks close to impossible but the defending champions will still look to sign off a disappointing season by registering a consolation win.