Asia Cup 2022, India vs Pakistan: Hardik Pandya understands his game better since his comeback, says Rohit Sharma

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Asia Cup 2022, India vs Pakistan: Hardik Pandya understands his game better since his comeback, says Rohit Sharma
Asia Cup 2022, India vs Pakistan: Hardik Pandya understands his game better since his comeback, says Rohit Sharma

Asia Cup 2022, India vs Pakistan: Hardik Pandya understands his game better since his comeback, says Rohit Sharma

Asia Cup 2022, India vs Pakistan: India captain Rohit Sharma feels Hardik Pandya has returned with a greater understanding of his style of play and is more certain of his intentions with both bat and ball.

In their Asia Cup opener on Sunday, India defeated longtime foe Pakistan by a margin of five wickets thanks in large part to an all-around performance by Hardik.

He took three wickets with the ball, including that of the dangerous Mohammad Rizwan, before shining under pressure with an unbeaten 33 off just 17 balls.

Hardik is a guy in Rohit’s eyes who now understands what to do in particular circumstances.

“Since the time he (Hardik) has made his comeback, he’s been brilliant. When he was not part of the team, he figured what he needs to do to his body and his fitness regime, and now he is clocking 140+ easily,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“His batting quality we all know and it’s been brilliant since his comeback. He is a lot calmer now and more confident about what he wants to do, whether it’s with the bat or with the ball,” he added.

Asia Cup 2022, India vs Pakistan: Hardik Pandya understands his game better since his comeback, says Rohit Sharma
Asia Cup 2022, India vs Pakistan: Hardik Pandya understands his game better since his comeback, says Rohit Sharma

On Sunday, Hardik’s ability to bowl quickly was on full display.

“He can bowl really quickly, we saw that today with those short balls. It was always about just understanding his game and he’s doing that well now. In a high-pressure with 10 runs per over needed, you can panic but he never showed any of that.”

Despite limiting Pakistan to a score of 147, India’s chase was complicated since the top order struggled.

“Halfway through the chase, we still knew that we can win irrespective of the situation. We had the belief and when you have that belief, these things can happen,” Rohit said.

Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan, thought his bowlers did a good job of making the chase difficult.

“The way we started (with the ball), was great. We were about 10-15 runs short. “Bowlers did really well to make a match of this. Our tail did step up a bit to add those handy runs,” Babar said.

On left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz bowling the last over, Babar said: “Thought was to take the game deep. Idea was to create pressure but Hardik finished well.”

On his T20I debut, pacer Naseem Shah took two wickets, and the captain showered the youngster with accolades.

“He (Naseem) is a very young bowler but bowled so well, and showed so much aggression.”