Hardik Pandya was brimming with confidence after a decisive performance in the Asia Cup opener against Pakistan, revealing he believed the bowler was under greater pressure when defending the score. He went on to discuss his bowling strategy as well as how he approached the batting in the game.
Hardik Pandya was all smiles at the end of the much-hyped clash between India and Pakistan, his face telling tales of utmost commitment and confidence. The man of the match at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday provided a resilient display with both the bat and the ball to carry India on his shoulders to the chequered flag.
The hard-hitter came to the crease when India was 89-4 and needed 59 runs off 34 deliveries to register a victory. Given how the pitch had behaved thus far, scoring at such a rate seemed difficult handing a slight edge to the Men in Green. However, the self-belief of Pandya ensured he wrote his own destiny as a 17-ball 33 shot India to the finish line with two balls to spare.
Things really came to a head when seven was required off the final over and Mohammad Nawaz had the ball. The pacer had taken three wickets already and had been quite economical. However, the all-rounder held his nerves and finished off proceedings with a six.
"I feel the bowler is under a lot more pressure than me. I just needed one six in that final over. I try to keep things simple," Pandya said in the post-match presentation as per ESPN Cricinfo.
"When it comes to batting, the chances I take when executing, I'm likelier to pull it off when I'm calmer. I knew they had Nawaz waiting to bowl, and while we needed 7, even if we needed 15 I would have fancied my chances."
In the first innings, the man from Baroda had excelled with his bowling as well, ending with figures of 4-0-25-3. He relied on the bounce the pitch was offering to bowl some searing bouncers and ended up taking all his scalps with the short ball.
"It's important to assess the situation and use your weapons. The hard lengths particularly. But you have to use them wisely because you only have one in the over," Pandya explained.
The ace cricketer will next be in action on Wednesday at the same ground when India takes on Hong Kong to close off the group stage.