Indian ace all-rounder Hardik Pandya has hit a purple patch after making a comeback to the Indian cricket team following his IPL 2022 heroics. The Baroda all-rounder has been exceptional in both the batting and bowling departments.
On Sunday, he once again delivered against Pakistan by picking up 3/25 and followed it up with a match-winning 33 runs in 17 balls. The right-handed batter also added icing to the cake by smashing a six at long-on to help India win by five wickets in the final over thriller.
Hardik remembered his journey from being stretchered off the ground in the 2018 Asia Cup to turning the match on its head against the same opposition on Sunday.
Sharing a post on Twitter, he wrote:
“The comeback is greater than the setback.”
“Even if we needed 15, I’d have fancied myself”- Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya, Player of the Match, echoed MS Dhoni’s sentiments after keeping his cool in the final over. He said that even 15 runs wouldn’t have made a difference because the bowler was under pressure during the 20th over.
Speaking on the post-match show, Pandya said:
“In a chase like this, you always plan over-by-over. I always knew that there is one young bowler and also one left-arm spinner.
"We only needed seven off the last over but even if we needed 15, I'd have fancied myself. I know the bowler is under more pressure than me in the 20th over. I try to keep things simple.”
The Gujarat Titans captain also spoke about his ability to use bouncers with precision and provide breakthroughs for India, a delivery that he has found to the Men in Blue’s advantage in the last few T20Is.
“In bowling, it's important to assess the situations and use your weapons. For me, bowling short and hard lengths have been my strengths. It's about using them well and asking the right questions to make the batters commit a mistake.”
Hardik Pandya redefined himself as GT captain and won the IPL 2022 title for his new franchise in their debut season. He led from the front by scoring 487 and picking up eight wickets. Since then, the IPL-winning captain has grown from strength to strength in both departments.
He has scored 314 runs at an average of 34.89 and scalped 11 wickets in 14 matches this year, his best performance since his T20I debut in 2016.
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