Hardik Pandya helped India to get over Pakistan in their opening match of the Asia Cup. Pandya had an excellent outing with the ball and then came out to score a cameo that took the team over the line.
Chasing 148 to win, India had a nervy start with KL Rahul going for a duck in his first delivery. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli added a good partnership in the middle but the required run rate was on the rise. After the senior players got out, Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya added a half-century partnership.
In the end, India needed 6 off 3 deliveries with Mohammad Nawaz bowling the final over. Pandya smoked one over the line and helped India to win by 5 wickets.
Talking about the game, Pandya said that even if Pakistan had ten fielders on the boundary ropes, he would have still hit a six.
“Saath run mujhe kuch jyada badhe lag nahi rahe they, kyunki left arm spinner hain. Aur paanch fielder hain ussey mujhe kuch farak nahi padh raha tha. Kyunki agar dus fielder hote, dus fielder bahar hote, mereko toh maarna hi tha. (Seven runs didn’t look like a mountain to me because a left-arm spinner was on. And Pakistan had five fielders on the fence, but even if they had ten, or ten outside, I would have definitely hit a six),” said Pandya, leaving Jadeja in chuckles.
Pandya mentioned that he wasn’t under pressure at all rather the bowler was under the pressure.
“Pure inning maine ek hi baar emotion dikhaya, jab aap out huye. Par generally bataun toh pressure nahi tha. Mere hisab se usko zyada pressure tha, main woh count kar raha tha ki woh ek mistake karein. (I only showed emotions once throughout the inning, when you were dismissed. But in general I was under no pressure, in fact I felt the bowler was under pressure, so I was waiting for an opportunity where he makes a mistake.)
“Kyunki aap pressure ko jis tareeke se handle karein uss hisab se aap execution kar sakte hain. Mujhe pata tha jis tareeke se usne fielder ko idhar kiye, mujhe pata tha woh back of length mein jayega hi. (The way you handle the pressure, is the way you execute stuff. I knew the way he set the field he would bowl me a back of a length delivery),” Pandya added.
India will meet Hong Kong in their second match on 31st August. A win here will take them to the super-4s.