The Baroda all-rounder on Tuesday (January 24) spoke to the media in Kanpur ahead of the first of three Twenty20 internationals against England.
There are a lot of new players who have come into this T20 series which includes youngsters and someone like Ashish Nehra. How do you adjust to a different bowling attack which is led by Nehra?
I don’t think there will be any difference. Obviously, I have played with him (Nehra) and I am very confident. Individually, it doesn’t make any difference when someone else comes into the team. It strengthens (Nehra’s inclusion) the bowling attack very much.
How different is this T20 series considering India have won the Test as well as the one-day series. How do you want to start with in the T20 series?
Obviously, we need to keep the basics pretty simple. We want to take confidence from the way we played in Tests and the One-Day Internationals (ODI). We want to win this series as well.
Do you find any difference between the captaincy of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli?
I don’t think so, both (Dhoni and Kohli) used to guide me, MS bhai used to give me a lot of confidence, as a bowler, as a batsman as well as a player. Virat bhai also does the same thing. I don’t find any difference between the two. I am pretty happy with Virat’s captaincy.
If we talk about the earlier version of Hardik Pandya to what you are now, you have worked closely with Rahul Dravid, tell us what you have learnt from him?
After the World Cup (T20 World Cup, 2016), I had a slight reality check. I knew I had areas to improve, the ‘A’ tour of Australia was pretty important for me. I learnt a lot of things about my game there, Rahul (Dravid) Sir helped me a lot, he spoke with me about my game as well as working on the mental aspects. Paras Sir (Mhambrey) helped me with my bowling and worked on my fitness. It was a complete package, my fitness, my bowling as well as the mental aspects of the game.
Are you the sort of individual who regrets playing some shots if it doesn’t help your team win?
As an individual, I feel that we should all accept our mistakes and learn from it. If I don’t accept my mistake, I will not improve in the next game. I shouldn’t have played that shot (in the final ODI in Kolkata), but I felt the asking rate was climbing and someone had to take a chance. Kedar (Jadhav) was the one who would have stayed until the end and I was the one who should take the risks. In that process, I ended up getting out but I will hopefully rectify my mistake next time around and choose the right shot.
Looking ahead to the three T20Is and then the Champions Trophy, how important was this three-match ODI series for you?
It gives a lot of confidence when you are coming off a good series. As a player, it was important for me to believe that I belong here (Indian team). It was a pretty important series for me and thankfully it turned out to be a good series on an individual level.