If Virat Kohli (82 not out) stole the limelight with his incredible knock in India’s four-wicket win over Pakistan in their T20 World Cup opener, star all-rounder Hardik (40) was the perfect ally as the team recovered from a woeful start to emerge victorious.
“I was only thinking about my dad. I have not cried about my dad. I love my son, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to do for him what my dad did for me. He moved cities for a six-and-a-half-year old boy’s dreams without knowing I’d get to where I am today. So this is for him,” said Hardik on Star Sports.
“I will be grateful forever. If he hadn’t given me a chance, I won’t be standing here. He made a big sacrifice, he shifted to a different city for his kids. We were six at that time, and he shifted an entire city and his entire business. It was a big thing,” a teary-eyed Hardik added.
Kohli conjured up a memorable unbeaten 82-run knock to anchor a chase of 160 which became tricky after India were left in tatters at 31 for 4. While Hardik, the most important cog in India’s T20 wheel, struck 40 off 37 balls in a partnership of 113 for the fifth wicket.
While the all-rounder was not at his aggressive best, Hardik, who also picked up three wickets with the ball in a fine spell earlier in the day, did play an important role in helping Kohli to play his natural game at the other end.