DUBAI: There was no questioning Hardik Pandya’s talent. As he displayed in the thrilling Asia Cup match against Pakistan on Sunday, the India all-rounder has now successfully coupled a calm demeanour with an uncluttered approach to become a serious match-winner.
Every time India and Pakistan play each other in a cricket match, tensions are high, and many players have crumbled under the strain that comes with these matches between the bitter rivals.Though Pandya survived the rising strain in the waning moments of India’s thrilling chase and secured victory with a carefree six with two balls remaining, he seemed to be made of a different material.
The same composure could be seen in his restrained exuberance when he just gave batting partner Dinesh Karthik—who had bowed before Pandya—a fist bump. Pandya was an easy choice for the man-of-the-match award thanks to his 3-25 with the ball and 33 not out off 17 deliveries.The 28-year-old remarked after accepting the medal, “In all these years I’ve understood that if I stay as calm as possible, it’s going to enable me to execute all my goals.
If I’m calmer, the 50/50 chances I take help me pull it off.India appeared to be in trouble when they needed 21 runs from 12 balls, but Pandya’s three boundaries in the penultimate over from Haris Rauf relieved the pressure.