'When equation was 8 off 3 Hardik came to me and said...': Umran Malik reveals India skipper's advice in last over
India skipper Hardik Pandya could have himself bowled the final over with Ireland batters having pushed India to the edge with the fiery batting on Tuesday in Dublin in the second and final T20I match of the series. But instead he handed over the responsibility to young Umran Malik, who was playing only his second international game on Tuesday. And the youngster successfully defended 17 runs in the last over to help India clinch the series.
A evening later, Umran revealed what advice Hardik gave him during the last over. Speaking to BCCI.tv after the four-run win in the second T20I, the 22-year-old revealed that he wanted to bowl the length delivery in that over and so was the message from Hardik. He also thanked the India skipper for believing in him.
“Today we won the series. Today we needed to defend 17 runs in the last over and I did it and it felt good. My mindset was that I would go with the length ball wide of off stump. Hardik bhai then told me to continue with the length ball, but the second one was a no ball. When the equation was 8 off 3, Hardik came to me and said that if you can bowl two dot balls, we can win. So that is what happened. They could manage three runs in the last three balls and we won the match. Thankful to Hardik bhai for showing faith in me,” he said.
Umran had conceded only nine runs in that over as India scripted a four-run win. Following the series victory, Hardik explained why he took the decision to hand Umran the final over.
"I was trying to keep all the pressure out of my equation. I wanted to be in the present and I backed Umran. He has pace, with his pace it's always going to be tough to get 18 runs. They played some amazing shots, they batted very well, credit to them and credit to our bowlers for holding their nerves," Pandya said in the post-match presentation.