It was Hardik Pandya who came up with an unbeaten 33-run knock of just 17 balls to help India seal a tight contest against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday in the Group A clash of the ongoing Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium. After having bundled out Pakistan for 147, Rohit Sharma-led Team India were in a spot of bother, but Hardik along with Ravindra Jadeja (35) ensured that the team does not slip up and goes over the line. After the win, Bhuvneshwar Kumar spoke about the win and how the match could have gone either way.
“After the 10 overs of our innings, it was a tight match. In those situations, the game can go either way. But the way Hardik and Jadeja batted, they played very well. But honestly, the match was 50-50. Till the time Hardik scored runs, the match was 50-50. We were praying that Hardik scores runs. I can just pray that Hardik continues with his performances and he stays in this form in the World Cup as well,” said Bhuvneshwar during the post-match press conference.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar had returned with figures of 4-26 in his four overs as India bundled out Pakistan for 147. The experienced seamer also got the key breakthrough of Pakistan captain Babar Azam in the third over of the innings.
“I am very happy with the performance, not just with the wickets. Yes, when you get wickets, you feel happy to contribute but sometimes bowling economically is also a contribution to the team’s cause. The way the others bowled as well, I think it was a complete team performance,” said Bhuvneshwar.
“Once Babar was dismissed, we did not think that half of the Pakistan team has been dismissed. He is a good player but technically there were 9 other batters still left. As a team, we do not think that if the best batter is out, then half of the team is dismissed. But yes, once he was out, we knew their plans will be disturbed as the batter who plays the role of the anchor was gone,” he added.
Further talking about the pitch and the defeat India suffered against Pakistan last year, the pacer said: “Bowling first was the good option. The wicket had some grass and it was patchy so it was not suitable for the batters. So that is why we decided to bowl first.”
“We had forgotten about the match against Pakistan that we lost last year. Honestly, as a cricketer we do not think about the result, I know people can have their expectations. We lose against other teams as well, but we do not talk about them that match as compared to when we lose against Pakistan. We just leave everything behind and keep moving ahead,” he added.
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