In the last over of the 3rd T20I against New Zealand, when the Kiwis required 19 off 6 balls, Hardik Pandya walked up to a tense Virat Kohli and told him not to worry. He said, “aap tension mat lo”. India eventually won the match by 6 runs and the series by 2-1. But it was young Hardik Pandya who showed the courage to take the onus on himself in a pressure situation. The decider, which was played at Thiruvananthapuram on a ground that was making its debut, was limited to 8 overs each side due to rain.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Virat Kohli explained that it was a planned move to give Pandya the final over. He said,
68 (to win) was a challenging total. We wanted our best bowlers to bowl first (so that) in the end we had enough runs to defend. We had confidence on Hardik; his off-cutter is very effective. The wicket was damp and the ball was sticking into it. He executed well.
The India captain also revealed the bit of conversation he had with Pandya in the middle of his over. He added,
Obviously, it was important to give him confidence. I tried to go to him after three balls (in the final over), but he said ‘mein daal donnga, aap tension mat lo (I will deliver, you don’t worry). As a captain, if you get that confidence from a bowler, then you don’t have to worry or tell him much.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 7, 2017
And yes, Pandya did deliver and how!
Here is how former and present sportsmen congratulated the Indian team on their victory.
— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) November 8, 2017
— Mohammad Shami (@MdShami11) November 7, 2017
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) November 7, 2017
India will soon host Sri Lanka in their own backyard for a full Test series which is to begin from November 16. Sri Lankans were whitewashed in their own backyard earlier this year and hence would be hoping for a better show this time around.