Former India player Mohammad Kaif has applauded Hardik Pandya for playing a responsible knock when India were in a struggling position in their Asia Cup 2023 Group A clash against Pakistan. Pandya scored 87 runs off 90 deliveries as India set a 267-run target for Pakistan in Pallekele on Saturday, September 2 before the game was washed out due to rain.
During a discussion on Star Sports, Kaif said: “This change has come since Hardik Pandya became the Gujarat Titans’ captain. He has learned to take responsibility. He has played at No. 3 and No. 4 as well and the biggest thing is that Hardik has learned how to mold himself according to the situation. When he comes at No. 5 or No. 6, he plays the big shots. When he comes at No. 3 or No. 4, he knows he has to build a partnership, play steadily, and take his time. He showed that by doing it today (Saturday) because the situation was extremely grim when Hardik Pandya came to bat.”
However, Hardik Pandya joined Ishan Kishan in the middle when India were reduced to 66/4 in the 15th over and added a 138-run partnership for the fifth wicket before another collapse stopped the Indian team from posting a bigger total.
“India were under a lot of pressure. He played patiently and hit proper cricketing shots. He hit a six later but he took very few risks at the start. The sweep he played to short fine-leg, he plays that rarely. Mohammad Nawaz brings the ball in, so he played it there. He hit three fours in Haris Rauf’s over. He knows how to play spin, plays the pull, drive, and he showed the cut shot also today. The ball went rapidly to the fence, the fielder couldn’t even move. So he has learned to play every shot. He even played the scoop in this match,” Mohammad Kaif concluded.