Hardik Pandya displayed an all-round performance against Pakistan in Asia Cup© AFP
Life came full circle for Hardik Pandya at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday as he went on to play a match-winning knock against Pakistan, the same opponent, against whom he had gotten injured in 2018 during the Asia Cup and was forced to miss almost three years of cricket action. On Sunday, the all-rounder brought his A-game to the middle as he took three wickets before scoring a quickfire 33 to help India defeat Pakistan by five wickets. This knock helped the Rohit Sharma-led side chase down 148 with two balls to spare.
In a video shared on the official website of BCCI, Hardik can be seen chatting with Ravindra Jadeja, and he speaks about how he had gotten injured in 2018.
“I was remembering it all. I was stretchered off at the same venue against the same opponent in the 2018 Asia Cup. You feel a sense of achievement because the things that have happened in the past, today I got an opportunity. The journey is beautiful. The fruits of our journey come to us, but behind the scenes, a lot of people do not get credit who walk along with us,” said Hardik.
India were in a spot of bother during their chase of 148, and it was then that Hardik joined hands with Ravindra Jadeja to form a 52-run stand for the fifth wicket. Jadeja perished after scoring 35, but Hardik ensured that the side walks away with a victory.
“I was thinking that seven runs in the final over is not that steep a challenge. Left-arm spinner was bowling and there were five fielders inside the ring. This all did not matter to me, even if there were 10 fielders standing at the boundary, it would not have mattered as I had to hit a big shot. In the entire innings, I just showed emotion once and it was when you got out. I was not feeling the pressure as I knew the pressure is clearly on the bowler. I knew he would bowl back of a length delivery,” said Hardik.
Talking about the victory, Jadeja said: “It was very important. I was promoted higher up the order. I was looking to take my chances against the spinners. We formed a partnership, it was important and we were chatting about backing our strengths.”
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