Hardik remained unbeaten on 33 off 17 balls when pursuing 148, and he formed an important partnership with Ravindra Jadeja (35 off 29 balls). The pair added 52 runs for the fifth wicket, a significant contribution to the Rohit Sharma-led team’s victory.
In Rishabh Pant’s absence, Jadeja was given an upgrade in the chain of command. After India had collapsed to 89/4 inside 15 overs, he and Pandya meticulously managed the scoring rate. At one point, India was held at bay by the accurate bowling of Naseem Shah (2/27) and Mohammad Nawaz (3/33)
In the penultimate over, Hardik hit three boundaries off Harris Rauf to help India narrow the gap. Nawaz castled Jadeja on the first ball of the final over when seven runs were needed. To increase the pressure, Nawaz bowled a dot ball to Hardik on the third delivery. However, the Indian all-rounder casually launched him for a six-over long-on to win the match with two balls remaining.
Hardik is happy with the middle order getting opportunities
According to Hardik, the lower middle order is taking charge and, like the early norm, India won’t rely heavily on the top order to produce significant runs.
“First of all, I’m thrilled to have succeeded since it was crucial for us. Our nerves were calmed, and as a team, we faced some challenges as well, but we enjoyed the way Jadeja played and came out. I’ve been playing with Jaddu for around seven to eight years,” Hardik stated in a video that was posted on the BCCI website.
“The Indian team is known for being in the Top 3, and we are thankful that we are finally receiving the opportunities and being given the chance to work.” Our strategy is to compete in the World Cup and seize every opportunity. So moving forward, if a similar circumstance arises, we will keep this game in mind,” he continued.
On August 31 at the same location, India will play their following Asia Cup 2022 match versus Hong Kong.