Team India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening match of the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 on Sunday (August 28). The Men in Blue gunned down the target of 148 runs in 19.4 overs with five wickets in hand.
Notably, India have not lost to Pakistan in the Asia Cup since the 2014 edition. Yesterday’s triumph was India’s fourth consecutive one and overall ninth in 15 matches.
Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya was the top performer for India. He first three wickets in his four-over spell and then scored an unbeaten 33 runs from just 17 balls to take India home. The 28-year-old showed nerves of steel and finished the game with a six off Mohammad Nawaz on the fourth ball of the final over.
For his all-round show, Pandya won the Player of the Match award, and while speaking at the post-match presentation, the Baroda cricketer said that he would have fancied his chances even if India required 15 runs from the final over.
“We only needed 7 off the last over, but even if we needed 15, I’d have fancied myself. I know the bowler is under more pressure than I am in the 20th over. I try to keep things simple. In a chase like this, you always plan over-by-over. I always knew that there was one young bowler and also one left-arm spinner,” said Pandya.
Speaking about his bowling, Pandya mentioned that his strength is dropping short and hitting the hard lengths, and he tried to use them effectively to puzzle the batters in the high-octane clash.
“In bowling, it’s important to assess the situations and use your weapons. For me, bowling short and hard lengths have been my strength. It’s about using them well and asking the right questions to make the batters commit a mistake,” added Pandya.