Hardik Pandya stated that he knew it would be tough for the Irish batters to score 18 runs in the final over against Umran Malik which is why he gave him the ball. India managed to win a thrilling game against Ireland and wrap up the T20I series 2-0 against the hosts under Hardik's leadership.
India defeated Ireland in the second and final T20I match of the series by 4 runs. With this victory, the Indian team won the series for the first time under Hardik Pandya's leadership. The match saw a lot of twists and turns as after winning the toss India opted to bat first and posted a mammoth 225 after some brilliant batting from Deepak Hooda and Sanju Samson. Deepak Hooda's century helped India reach this total which ended up being a match-winning one.
However, Ireland did not give up without a fight as they smashed the Indian bowlers all around the ground and fell short by just four runs. Hardik Pandya's decision to give the final over to Umran Malik surprised many but the skipper stated that he knew it would be difficult for the Irish batters to score against him.
"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," Hardik Pandya said in the post-match presentation.