Bhuvaneshwar Kumar has claimed that the match could have gone either way before Hardik Pandya walked in to bat and produced a sensational cameo. Bhuvneshwar further added that he was hopeful of Hardik Pandya continuing his brilliant run of form in the T20 World Cup this year as well.
India has started with a brilliant five-wicket win over Pakistan courtesy of an all-round performance from Hardik Pandya. Chasing a target of 148, India were reduced to 89/4 at one stage. However, Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya stitched a match-winning partnership to take India to a win. Hardik scored unbeaten 33 runs from 17 balls playing a key role in the chase.
Reflecting on the win, Bhuvneshwar Kumar opined that the game was equally in the balance till Hardik Pandya scored some more runs.
"After the 10 overs of our innings, it was a tight match. In those situations, the game can go either way. But the way Hardik and Jadeja batted, they played very well. But honestly, the match was 50-50. Till the time Hardik scored runs, the match was 50-50. We were praying that Hardik scores runs. I can just pray that Hardik continues with his performances and he stays in this form in the World Cup as well," Bhuvneshwar said in the press conference.
Earlier in the match, India opted to bowl first after winning the toss and they displayed a brilliant bowling performance. Bhuvneshwar Kumar scalped four wickets while Hardik Pandya picked three wickets and Pakistan were bundled out the opposition on 147. Reflecting on the decision to bowl first, Bhuvneshwar revealed that the cause behind the decision was grass on the surface.
"Bowling first was the good option. The wicket had some grass and it was patchy, so it was not suitable for the batters. So that is why we decided to bowl first,” he explained.
"I am very happy with the performance, not just with the wickets. Yes, when you get wickets, you feel happy to contribute, but sometimes bowling economically is also a contribution to the team's cause. The way the others bowled as well, I think it was a complete team performance.”