The all-around performance from Hardik Pandya helped India to register a win in their opening game of the Asia Cup 2022 against arch-rivals Pakistan. From scalping three wickets to smashing 33 runs off 17 balls, Hardik was at his best by getting India over the line by smashing a six in the nail-biting thriller. The all-rounder has garnered a lot of praise from all over the world for his blistering performance and now former Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur also came forward to hail Hardik.
During a chat with ESPNCricinfo, Mickey Arthur said, “He is a wonderful player. It is almost like India plays with 12 players. It takes me back to when I was with South Africa and we had Jacques Kallis. You have got a guy that can genuinely be one of your four seamers and can bat in the Top 5. It is almost like playing with an extra player. I have seen Hardik mature and mature.”
He further added, “Leadership around the last IPL was outstanding, he managed his team really well. He played the pressure situations really well for his team. I think he is blossoming into a very fine cricketer.”
Talking about the match, Hardik Pandya returned figures of 3 for 25 in 4 overs alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 4 for 26 to help India bowl out Pakistan for 147. The all-rounder then played a match-winning knock of 33 not out of 17 balls to guide India home. After the victory against the arch-rivals, Hardik had spoken on the challenges presented by Pakistan in the game.
Hardik Pandya said, “First of all, very happy to get this win because it was very important for us. Our nerves were checked, as a team we were kind of challenged as well but loved the way he (Jadeja) came out and played as well. Jaddu and I have been playing together for 7-8 years.”
He further explained, “The Indian team is known for Top 3, very grateful that we are also getting the opportunities now and we are able to do the job. Our process is to play the World Cup and get the maximum opportunities. So going ahead, if the similar situation presents itself, we will remember this game.”