T20 World Cup 2022: It was all ecstasy for India on the eve of Diwali. On the flip side, for the Pakistan fans, it was pure agony. India thumped Pakistan as they scripted a memorable victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the ongoing T20 World Cup. The 'Blue Brigade' got the better of the 'Boys in Green' as they defeated them by a margin of 4 wickets. India taking on Pakistan is always a special occasion, but this particular match will be etched in the history books forever.
A lot was riding on India's back as they had lost to Pakistan in 2021, in the T20 World Cup that was hosted in the United Arab Emirates. Earlier this year, Pakistan also ousted Rohit Sharma and his blue brigade from the Asia Cup that was played in the T20 World Cup. While chasing a target of 160, India lost Rahul and Rohit early. Matters got worst for team India as Suryakumar and Axar departed unexpectedly. Virat Kohli certainly closed the game in India's favour, but it was his compatriot Hardik who held one end and assisted Kohli in his heroics.
Both Kohli and Hardik registered a memorable partnership of 113 runs which was a vital factor in India's victory. The Board of Control for Cricket in India has now posted a video that features the men of the hour Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya as they spoke at length about what was going through their minds in such a tense situation.
Virat Kohli said:
Firstly, we had a great partnership, there was a lot of pressure when Hardik came to play. We were in a very difficult position. To be honest, I was feeling a lot of pressure because I have played these games before and I understand the expectations and the magnitude of the game, but Hardik was very fearless in that partnership. As soon as he came into bat, he said, let's talk, communicate and plan how we want to go about it. He kept on pushing me and was hell-bent on building a partnership and taking the game deep. I wanted to take risks and hit a few big shots, but Hardik helped me focus. I never realized that we had made a 100-run partnership and in the end, we were planning how to tackle Nawaz. We wanted to go after Rauf and that happened. Pakistan were certainly baffled by it because they wanted to close the game as soon as possible.
Hardik further added:
I could sense a lot of pressure when I was walking out to bat and I say it with a lot of respect. It happens in such big games when we are working this hard in a collective group. People are genuinely happy for each other. But for me somehow, I was very numb today. Rahul Bhai lifted my spirits and told me to be patient. I had to tell him that I am very happy to be here and playing with all the best cricketers. I'd have taken a bullet for Virat but still not gotten him out. I just wanted to go out and play.
India will now take on the Netherlands on October 27, 2022, in their next World Cup game but no matter wherever their campaign goes, they certainly will remember this victory for a long long time.