Hardik Pandya turned an overnight hero among Indian fans after he defended 10 in the final over against Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup match in Bangalore in 2016.
In a thrilling last over, Bangladesh needed 11 to win with experienced batsmen Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim in the middle. After Mahmudullah got a single in the first ball, Mushfiqur hit back to back boundaries to bring the equation down to 2 off 3 balls.
Victory was a mere formality but both Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah got out to expansive shots in the next two balls.
“Even at that time if I was there I would’ve taken a single to secure the win and then go for that signature shot or highlight shot. So I was like what was the most difficult ball if anyone wants to take a single?" Pandya explained to Cricbuzz.
“I thought back of length is something if you wanna hit it’s not that easy and even if you wanna take single it’s difficult as you have to get around and play it properly. But he (Mushfiqur) went for the big shot and got out.
“The next ball I went for the yorker, it turned out to be a full toss (which Mahmudullah hit to deep mid wicket). It was just destiny, it happened because it had to happen, I didn’t do anything special there."
The equation suddenly became 2 off 1 ball, with tailender Shuvagata Hom on strike. Hom missed the back of length ball from Pandya, and MS Dhoni calmly collected the ball before running full speed to catch Mustafizur Rahman short of his crease.
Pandya recalled the discussion before the final ball, saying it was Dhoni and Ashish Nehra who instructed him to bowl back of length.
“I don’t remember exactly but few people gave suggestions ‘let’s bowl a bouncer’ but we were not up for it because Mahi bhai and Ashu bhai also said that if a tail-ender tries to swing and gets a top edge then it could fly over the keeper. So he said let’s just go with wide outside off stump.
“I bowled it a bit too wide and after that I lost my voice."