Virat Kohli turned out to be the hero of India vs Pakistan match as he played a stunning knock of 82* runs against arch-rivals to help team India in registering a 4-wicket win in their 2022 T20 World Cup opener. But if Virat shone bright with his stellar knock, Hardik Pandya was his perfect ally.
His all-around show played a crucial role in India’s epic win against Pakistan. First he took 3/30 to help the Indian side restrict Pakistan to 159/8 in 20 overs. Later he scored 40 off 37 balls and added a 113 run-stand in just 78 balls with Virat Kohli (82*). Hardik Pandya also created history by becoming the first Indian player to cross 1000 T20I runs and pick 50 wickets.
Meanwhile, in a post-match interaction on Star Sports Tamil, 1983 World Cup winner Krishnamachari Srikkanth, while talking to Hardik Pandya, compared him to the great Kapil Dev. He said: “I should not do comparisons. I do not compare eras. When I see you playing, the way you bowl, bat and field; it reminds me of Kapil Dev during our days. The impact you can create, is somewhat what Kapil used to create.”
However, it was the response of Hardik Pandya that won many hearts on social media. Responding to Kris’ question, a smiling Pandya just said: “He is the greatest!”
Watch the viral video:
In the post-match presentation, Hardik Pandya couldn’t hold his emotions and recalled how his late father moved cities to fulfill his cricketing dreams. He said:
“I was only thinking about my dad. I have not cried about my dad. I love my son, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to do for him what my dad did for me. He moved cities for a six-and-a-half-year old boy’s dreams without knowing I’d get to where I am today. So, this is for him,”
He added: “I will be grateful forever. If he hadn’t given me a chance, I won’t be standing here. He made a big sacrifice, he shifted to a different city for his kids. We were six at that time, and he shifted an entire city and his entire business. It was a big thing.”