The men in blue were in dire straits when Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant came together in the middle at Old Trafford against England on Sunday. By the time their partnership ended, England was on the brink of defeat, needing to get India all-out to win the series.
The top order was rankled by Left Arm fast bowler Reece Topley and the top order of the men in blue was taken out rather cheaply with only 38 runs on board. The Pant Pandya combine put up a superb partnership of 133 runs and steered India to victory from troubled waters.
When your team is under pressure and your bat like that is actually something I always aspire to – Rishabh Pant
“When your team is under pressure and your bat like that is actually something I always aspire to. To do well in pressure situations. Hopefully, I did well today and helped my team to cross the line,” Pant was quoted as saying after the match.
“We were just saying that we will play with intent but not force things. They were also under pressure when we were playing, they were trying to get us to play rash shots,” said Pant in a video posted by the BCCI about the conversations he had with Pandya during the partnership. “So we were just saying that we will take it one ball at a time and not think too much. We will just let our instincts take over and keep on playing and look to build a partnership.”
Hardik Pandya delivered with both bat and bowl, with blistering innings of 71 and a spell of 4 wickets for 24 runs across 7 overs respectively. These performances helped India win the ODI series 2-1.
India captain Rohit Sharma was all praise for how the pair handled the situation as well. “It was quite clinical how they finished off. Special mention for Hardik for the way he bowled and the way he batted, this was game-changing for us. Getting 70-odd off 55 balls or something like that. And then Pant to finish off. We always talk about one batter staying till the end, it was the perfect one for us today,” said Rohit.