Hardik Pandya has been a revelation for the Indian cricket team with his recent performances. On Sunday, he partnered Rishabh Pant (125*, 113 balls) to rescue India from a tricky situation against England in the third ODI in Manchester. After India were reduced to 72/4, Pandya scored 71 off 55 balls and shared a 133-run stand with Pant for the fifth wicket. The partnership helped India chase down a 260-run target in 42.1 overs and clinch the series 2-1. He also returned with his best-ever ODI bowling figures of 4/24 earlier to restrict the hosts to 259.
Yet, things were not so smooth till a couple of years ago. He underwent a lower back surgery in 2019. It severely impacted his bowling capabilities and then he was dropped from the team. However, after a great IPL 2022 where he led Gujarat Titans to the title, Pandya was recalled to the team. He even led India in the two-match T20I series against Ireland recently.
Pandya has now shared an emotional video on his journey through “the ups and downs.”
Through the ups and downs, with my people by my side. Woke up every morning raring to go, with the will to become stronger, with the will to become fitter and play for my country. Always grateful to those who stood by me, who encouraged me, who guided me pic.twitter.com/4gi32ijq1k
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) July 18, 2022
Speaking to media post the third ODI, Hardik said to be able to bowl regularly gives him a lot of satisfaction. “So, firstly with my bowling, you know post IPL. After every series I take maybe four or five days to train because that is refuelling for my fitness and just to get fresh. I like to play 100 per cent because then it gives me the opportunity to do all the things which I did today,” said Hardik.
He could not find the rhythm in the preceding series in Ireland but England brought the best out of him. “After IPL, I came back to play the South Africa series. I bowled one over and I did not bowl in couple of games. As a bowler for me, it’s very important to keep bowling. So I was not finding the rhythm,” he said.
“Even in Ireland when I played I was not getting the rhythm which I wanted to because I find myself a control bowler. I don’t have much skills you know, get the batter out by opening him up and nipping the ball inside and all that, I play with smartness. I try to outsmart the batter.”
(With PTI inputs)
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