‘I would have taken a bullet for you…’ Hardik Pandya tells Virat Kohli after memorable win against Pakistan in T20 World Cup
Following India’s memorable win over Pakistan in the high-voltage clash of the T20 World Cup, Hardik Pandya told Virat Kohli during a candid chat that the moment he stepped on the field and saw Kohli, the all-rounder was intending on giving his life for him but won’t let the match slip.
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Pandya’s motivation came at a time when India’s top-order was wiped out at 31/4 by the seventh over. The star Indian all-rounder revealed despite the mess India were in at that point, Pandya believed it was Virat who could bail the team out of trouble at that point as he has done a number of times before in the past.
“When I was coming in to bat, you saw it. I would have taken a bullet for you but not let you get out at that point in time. My goal was simple. Your life had to be easy because you have done it over the years in crucial games. And no one is better than handling pressure than you,” Pandya told Kohli in a video published by BCCI.
“I just wanted to play and didn’t want either of us to get out. Though we had players to come and who could help us win the game, which they eventually did. But for me it was important that you and I stayed. I believed that we could do it, even when 40 were needed off 3 overs, even when we were missing the ball, I knew one of us will pull off something special.”
The morale-boosting victory comes for India at a time when they had a unexpected loss at the Asia Cup few months go in the background of a hurting loss against Pakistan followed by early exit in last year’s T20 World Cup.
“To be honest, I sensed a lot of pressure in our group. I could sense that. With all the respect among everyone, in a big game, and how important it is… we all have worked hard as a collective unit, people are happy for each other but for me somehow, I don’t know. I was numb today. I was just happy,” Pandya said.
Pandya also revealed the conversation he had with coach Rahul Dravid during the drinks break saying that how he was glad to be playing here after turbulent few months which saw him suffer back injury and stay out of the Indian team.
“I was speaking to Rahul sir. I won’t say he was tensed but he told me ‘Hardik, you know you’ve done a lot of good things. Just be calm’. I had to tell him, ‘Sir, I am happy to be here’. 10 months earlier, I was working in my space and I had no idea. This is where I want to be. I am just happy to be there, playing with all the best cricketers in the world. And they are my brothers,” Pandya added.
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