Did this Hardik Pandya moment change the game?
During the ongoing 2023 ODI World Cup match between India and Pakistan on October 14, a captivating incident involving Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya garnered the attention of the fans. In the 13th over just before delivering the ball to Pakistani opener Imam-ul-Haq, Pandya was seen engaging in a distinctive ritual - like a silent prayer or mantra. This act quickly gained traction on various social media platforms.
Imam-ul-Haq, who had previously managed to score a boundary off Pandya, posed a significant threat at the crease. However, Pandya's subsequent delivery, following his silent communion with the ball proved to be a game-changer. While attempting a drive, the left-hander Imam-ul-Haq edged the ball, which was then safely caught by wicketkeeper KL Rahul. This led to Imam-ul-Haq's dismissal after scoring 36 runs, providing India with a crucial breakthrough.
Pakistan were eventually bundled out for 191 due to a combined bowling effort from India.
Pandya sends off Imam-ul-Haq in style
Pandya's celebration after the wicket was as memorable as the dismissal itself. He erupted into an animated display, signaling for Imam-ul-Haq to leave the field. The stadium resounded with cheers, reflecting the infectious energy of Pandya. This dismissal marked India's second breakthrough in the match, following Mohammed Siraj's earlier dismissal of Abdullah Shafique. Pandya's strategic prowess once again played a pivotal role in tilting the match in India's favor.
The fast-bowling triad comprising Jaspirt Bumrah, Siraj and Hardik Pandya finished with two wickets each while spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja also contributed with two wickets apiece as Pakistan were bowled out in 42.5 overs.
For Pakistan, skipper Babar Azam top-scored with 50 off 58 balls while Mohammad Rizwan made 49 off 69 balls. From 155 for two, Pakistan collapsed to 191 all out.