What's the story?
Virat Kohli backed Hardik Pandya in his post-match press conference when he was asked about the reaction of the latter post his unfortunate dismissal in the final against Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. The Green Army defeated Team India in the finals and went on to lift the title for the first time in the history of the tournament.
The Indian skipper credited Pandya for his innings and expressed that he completely justified his presence with his performance throughout the tournament.
“Everyone who plays for the country is committed to the team. He is passionate and he felt he was in the zone where he thought he could have done something special for the team today,” said Kohli talking about Hardik's expression of disappointment on the field.
In case you didn't know...
India had to chase 339 runs to defend their title but they lost crucial wickets early in the game. Hardik Pandya came to bat at five down and his 76 runs from 43 balls almost brought the Indian team back into the game. However, due to a mix-up between him and Jadeja, he fell prey to a horrendous runout. Hardik called for a single and started running but Jadeja left the crease only to revert back, thereby costing Pandya his wicket.
After his dismissal, Pandya was seen mouthing his disappointment as he swung his bat in the air in despair. He was clearly not happy with the way the events had unfolded to send him back to the dressing room despite a knock that appeared to be promising.
The heart of the matter
A simple miscommunication between the two batsmen at the crease destroyed any chances of India's victory in the finals. The Indian skipper was himself disappointed with the defeat but he was happy with the overall performance of the team in the tournament.
Defending Pandya, Kohli stated that the team backs him because of the way he had performed throughout the Champions Trophy. He praised the all-rounder for his excellent job in batting, bowling and fielding, living up to the expectations that one had for him. He also agreed that Pandya's knock was successful in building up hopes for the Indian team's comeback in the game.
India will next take on West Indies in five ODIs and one T20 scheduled to begin on 23rd June away from home.
Even though the Indian team failed to defend their title, they performed brilliantly in the Champions Trophy. With respect to the finals, Pandya had put in a great effort in his innings and it was unfortunate for him to be dismissed in such a manner. His reaction was due to the disappointment he must have felt at that stage.
Despite being on the losing side, his innings earned him a lot of respect from everyone who got to witness that brilliant knock. The run-out cannot be blamed on anyone, considering the pressure under which the players were playing. Thus, the best thing that can be done in this situation is to learn from the mistakes.