‘Even if you get hit, it’s fine’: Hardik Pandya to Shivam Mavi
NEW DELHI: Young pacer Shivam Mavi made a memorable debut after Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel led a remarkable recovery with their unbeaten 68-run stand as India survived anxious moments to clinch a nail-biting two-run victory over Sri Lanka in the first T20I on Tuesday.
With this victory India lead the three-match series 1-0. The right-arm pacer Mavi returned figures of 4/22 which are the third best figures for India on T20I debut after Barinder Sran (4/10) and Pragyan Ojha (4/21).
Mavi’s success lies in his skipper’s belief after the 24-year-old pacer was given the free hand by Hardik Pandya to not think about getting hit.
“I have seen him (Mavi) bowling well in the IPL and I just told him to simply bowl. I told him, ‘I am backing you. Even if you get hit, it’s fine,” Pandya said in the post-match presentation.
Pandya also cleared the air about his cramps he suffered during the match, saying “Now I have got used to it. It was just cramps, I am alright. it was a rough night, I was unwell and I had my fluids down. If I am smiling, everything is fine.”
Pandya also backed his decision of giving the final over to Axar Patel as India needed to defend the 13 runs. “We might lose a game here and there but it’s alright. It’s the young guys who got us back into the game.”
Pandya revealed the reason behind his superb bowling as he produced a splendid spell of three overs in which he just conceded 12 runs.
“I have been bowling in the nets with the new ball since I returned in the IPL. I have learnt how to swing it back.”
Earlier, India batters found the Sri Lankan spinners hard to put away before Deepak Hooda (41 not out off 23) and Axar Patel (31 not out off 20) took the hosts to 162 for five.
The Sri Lankans surely had the firepower to chase down 163 but Mavi’s strikes at front and back end of the innings tilted the game in favour of the home team. The game went down to the wire with spinner Axar Patel managing to defend 13 runs in the final over.