‘Can’t get too emotional about it because…’: Hardik Pandya plays down Indo-Pak hype before India’s Asia Cup opener


A buoyant Hardik Pandya had come up with an uber-confident nod before the star batter scored the winning runs for India in its famous win over arch-rivals Pakistan at the Asia Cup. With India needing 6 runs off 3 balls against Pakistan in the Asia Cup showdown last year, Pandya assured his teammate Dinesh Karthik that he got everything under control. The star batter had played the previous ball a dot in the final over against Pakistan at the time.

Hardik Pandya opted to play down the Indo-Pak hype ahead of blockbuster clash(AFP)

Finishing things in style, an on-song Pandya fired a last-over six to seal Team India’s win over Pakistan in the thrilling contest. The star all-rounder was named the Player of the Match for his all-round show. Pandya had remained unbeaten on 33 off 17 balls in the Group A match between India and Pakistan at the Asia Cup 2022. A year after propelling India to an unforgettable win over the Green Army, Pandya is returning to the Asia Cup as the vice-captain of the Indian side.

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‘A lot of emotions are attached by fans’

Speaking to Star Sports ahead of India’s Asia Cup 2023 opener against Pakistan, all-rounder Pandya opted to play down the Indo-Pak hype in the continental tournament. The 29-year-old said that players avoid getting carried away by emotions as high-profile encounters between the two teams involve making calculated decisions. “A lot of emotions are attached by fans. For us, it is about playing a good team, playing a match against a very good side who has done very well in the recent past. Couple of finals they’ve played and the tension between us is always there. So for me, we try to keep the outside noise outside, and we focus on how we can play good cricket,” Pandya said.

‘We can’t get too emotional about it because…’

According to Pandya, India’s meetings with Pakistan will test the character and personality of the players who are on the road to the ICC World Cup. “At the end of the day, we are cricketers. We can’t get too emotional about it because then certain decisions can be reckless, which I don’t believe in. But, at the same point of time, it’s a mega event. It’s an event which I’ve seen how it checks your character, checks your personality, and at the same point in time, you can see in how deep waters you can swim. So for me, all these factors excite me a lot and yeah, I can’t wait,” Pandya added.


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