"I was under pressure…" – Wasim Jaffer hails Hardik Pandya’s heroics at T20 World Cup 2024

Wasim Jaffer and Hardik Pandya

Former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer has lauded Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya for his remarkable performance at the ICC T20 World Cup 2024. Jaffer highlighted Pandya’s ability to handle immense pressure and deliver stellar performances with both bat and ball.

Jaffer acknowledged the pressure on Pandya ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup after his failure with the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL 2024. The Indian all-rounder faced a lot of ridicule and criticism for replacing Rohit Sharma as MI captain, and it severely affected his performance.

Wasim Jaffer hails Hardik Pandya’s redemption story at T20 World Cup 2024

The outside noise put Pandya under enormous pressure, and he failed to perform as an all-rounder or as the captain of MI, and the franchise finished the IPL 2024 campaign in 8th place with just 8 points from 14 matches. Amidst his poor season, Pandya was picked for the squad for the 2024 T20 World Cup.

Despite facing significant expectations and scrutiny, Pandya rose to the occasion and played a key role in India’s successful campaign at the 2024 T20 World Cup. His all-round contributions were crucial to the Indian cricket team’s unbeaten campaign in the US and West Indies.

Pandya showed his versatility, contributing valuable runs and taking key wickets throughout the tournament. He scored 144 runs at an average of 48, besides taking 11 wickets in the tournament. He also bowled the all-important final over in the final to win the match for India.

He registered impressive figures of 3/20 in three overs, dismissing David Miller and Kagiso Rabada in the final over to seal the deal for India as they won the 2024 T20 World Cup by defeating the South African team by seven runs in Barbados.

Hardik Pandya performed exceptionally well under pressure: Wasim Jaffer

Speaking after the 2024 T20 World Cup final, Jaffer praised Pandya for stepping up and exceeding expectations with his impressive all-round performance, saying his remarkable comeback was a testament to his resilience and skill.

Wasim Jaffer said on his YouTube channel: “I would like to specially mention Hardik because he was under pressure before the T20 World Cup. But you have to take your hat off to him for the way he stepped up with the bat and ball and his delivery. We all know the kind of pressure he was under but he raised his hand and performed exceptionally well.”

The former Indian batsman also praised Suryakumar Yadav for his match-deciding catch in the 2024 T20 World Cup final. In the last over, South Africa needed 16 runs to win, and Miller hit a full toss from Pandya towards long-on field, aiming for a six.

Wasim Jaffer praises Suryakumar Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah

Suryakumar ran, jumped and caught the ball just before it crossed the finishing line. The Indian star then put the ball back into play, regained his balance and dove in to complete the stunning catch and win the prestigious cup for India.

Jaffer added: “Suryakumar Yadav’s catch was a game-changing moment in my view. Had that catch not happened and had it resulted in six, 10 runs off four (five) balls would have been an easy task for Miller.”

Jasprit Bumrah won the Player of the Tournament award, with the cricket pundit saying he deserved the honour for his exceptional bowling during the 2024 T20 World Cup, where he took 15 wickets.

Jaffer concluded by saying: “Bumrah, being Bumrah, played incredibly well and rightly deserves the Player of the Tournament award. The way he played throughout the tournament and in the final, you have to take your hat off to him.”