"I don't care what people say about me," says Hardik Pandya
What's the story?
At the end of the second day's play, India's bowling hero for the day Hardik Pandya spoke to Nasser Hussain about his bowling performance. The flamboyant all-rounder, apparently couldn't care less about the naysayers when asked about the ongoing debate regarding his place in the playing XI.
In case you didn't know...
Before this match, there was a lot of debate about Hardik Pandya's position in the playing XI.
Michael Holding stated: "I don't think he does a lot with the ball. That is number one. He is not consistent. He does not have the control that puts batsmen under pressure constantly."
Even Harbhajan Singh voiced his opinion as he felt that Hardik Pandya should be stripped of the all-rounder's tag. With this crucial spell, Hardik Pandya has not only answered his critics but has also invoked a lot of joy in the hearts of the fans.
The heart of the matter
Hardik Pandya came into the attack when Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow were trying to stabilise the innings after the loss of three wickets. Pandya got the right start as he got the wicket of the English captain off his very first delivery.
He followed it up with four more wickets - Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid and Stuart Broad - to register his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket. The superb spell from Pandya meant that England were in deep deep trouble and were bowled out for just 161 runs, conceding a first innings deficit of 168 runs.
Hardik Pandya spoke to Nasser Hussain and here's what he had to say when asked about his bowling performance.
"Quite happy with the five-for. We're happy with the lead too, really happy for the team as the batsmen applied themselves and got us a decent lead."
There's a lot of ongoing debate about Hardik Pandya 'all-rounder' role in the side and this is what Pandya had to say about the same:
"Let's not worry about me, I know what I'm doing, and I don't care what people say. The team backs me and that's important."
Hardik Pandya had a great day with the ball as he took five wickets. The five-wicket haul came at the right time for the all-rounder who hadn't done a lot with the ball in England so far.
It will be important that Hardik Pandya will continue putting up many more performances with the ball if India wants to make a turnaround in the Test series.