‘You can panic, but he never showed that’: Rohit Sharma hails Hardik Pandya after ‘high-pressure’ IND-PAK Asia Cup match
Hardik Pandya was in stunning form with both bat and ball during India's Asia Cup 2022 opener vs Pakistan. The Rohit Sharma-led side won by five wickets in Dubai.
Hardik Pandya was in hot form as India edged past Pakistan for a win in their Asia Cup 2022 opener. The all-rounder took three wickets to help India bowl out Pakistan for 147 in 19.5 overs and then followed it up with an unbeaten knock of 33 runs off 17 balls in the chase. Chasing 148, India managed to reach 148 for five in 19.4 overs at the Dubai International Stadium in Dubai on Sunday, claiming victory by five wickets. Pandya's blistering knock also included four fours and a six. After the match, Team India captain Rohit Sharma praised Hardik and called him 'brilliant'.
"Since the time he (Hardik) has made his comeback, he's been brilliant. When he was not part of the team, he figured what he needs to do to his body and his fitness regime, and now he is clocking 140+ easily", he said.
"His batting quality we all know and it's been brilliant since his comeback. He is a lot calmer now and more confident about what he wants to do, whether it's with the bat or with the ball. He can bowl really quick, we saw that today with those short balls. It was always about just understanding his game and he's doing that well now. In a high-pressure chase with 10 rpo needed, you can panic but he never showed any of that", he further added.
After the toss, Rohit surprised many when it was revealed that Dinesh Karthik would don the wicketkeeper role in the playing XI, with Rishabh Pant benched. Karthik had a decent showing with the gloves. Meanwhile, KL Rahul disappointed with the bat and was dismissed for a golden duck by Naseem Shah. He will be aiming to improve his performances. Virat Kohli (35 runs off 34 balls) and Ravindra Jadeja (35 runs off 29 balls) also came up with crucial knocks during the chase. For their next match, India face Hong Kong on Wednesday in Dubai.