Following his side’s thrilling five-wicket win over Pakistan in their Asia Cup 2022, star Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya took to social media to express his joy at his resurgence in international cricket this year, during which he also led Men in Blue to a fighting win over their Asian arch-rivals.
The crucial partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya helped India defeat arch-rivals Pakistan in a thrilling clash by five wickets in the second match of the Asia Cup 2022 here at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
“The comeback is greater than the setback,” tweeted Pandya in a post which also featured a picture showing two different eras of his career.
At the top is the star all-rounder laying on a stretcher during his outing against Pakistan in Asia Cup 2018. Below it is Pandya in 2022, raising his bat after finishing the match against Pakistan with a six.
After dealing with fitness issues for the next few years, Pandya returned his fully fit avatar in 2022 to lead Gujarat Titans to their maiden India Premier League (IPL) title in their debut season.
Throughout the season, Pandya led his side from the front with his all-round show, scoring 487 runs at an average of 44.27 in 15 games and hitting four fifties. He also took eight wickets for his side, including a match-winning 3/17 in the final.
Since then, he has shown exceptional form for India in T20Is and has played many crucial knocks, be it as an aggressor or an anchor.
In T20Is this year, Pandya has scored 314 runs across 13 innings in 14 matches at an average of 34.88. He has scored one half-century and various other crucial knocks. He has also taken 11 wickets for his side in 14 matches with best bowling figures of 4/33.
In three ODIs as well, he has hit 100 runs in two innings across three matches with an average of 50, with one fifty and best score of 71. He has also taken six wickets across these three matches, with best figures of 4/24.
Pandya will remain a very important player for Team India in the upcoming ICC World T20 2022, which will take place from October-November this year.
Coming to the match, Pakistan were bundled out for 147 in 19.4 overs. Opener Mohammed Rizwan (43) and Iftikhar Ahmed (28) were the only ones who could contribute something decent with the bat.
The pace and short-length deliveries of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4/26), Hardik Pandya (3/25) and Arshdeep Singh (2/33) and Avesh Khan (1/19) blew away Pakistani batters and wickets fell at a regular rate.
Chasing 148, India lost KL Rahul for a duck in the very first over. After this, Virat Kohli (35) anchored the innings and formed a 49-run stand with skipper Rohit Sharma (12), who largely struggled at the other end.
Twin strikes from Mohammed Nawaz, who took Sharma and Kohli’s wickets restricted India to 3/53. Following this, a 36-run stand between Ravindra Jadeja and Suryakumar Yadav helped move the scoreboard, before Suryakumar fell to debutant Naseem Shah for 18.
A 52-run stand between Jadeja (35) and Hardik Pandya (33*) followed, which took India close to a win and in-form Pandya finished the proceedings with a six with two balls to spare, giving India a five-wicket win.
Nawaz (3/33) and Naseem Shah (2/27) bowled really well for Pakistan, though not enough to give them a win. Pandya was adjudged as ‘Man of the Match’ for his all-round performance.