'I don't believe in 50s or 100s. Stats are just numbers, it's a waste of time' - Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya is gearing up for his return to action with the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League, where he is set to lead the Mumbai Indians.

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Hardik Pandya
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Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: Mumbai Indians)

All-rounder Hardik Pandya is gearing up for his much-anticipated return to cricket action in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season, where he will be leading the Mumbai Indians. After two stellar years with the Gujarat Titans, Hardik is returning to the franchise where he embarked on his IPL journey in 2015.

In addition to rejoining MI, he's also assuming the captaincy from Rohit Sharma. Despite being sidelined due to a knee injury, Hardik recently had a moment to reflect on his journey with the five-time champions.

Also read: Aakash Chopra reflects on Hardik Pandya retaining central contract amid Kishan-Iyer snub

'I have that many?' - Hardik Pandya surprised with his stats

During an appearance on the Star Sports show, 'Star Nahi Far', Hardik engaged with the audience in a quiz about his stats with MI. When someone from the crowd guessed that he had scored 10 half-centuries in the tournament, Hardik was surprised, remarking, "I have that many? Wow."

However, when asked to pick his favorite half-century, Hardik's response was unexpected. Rejecting suggestions from the audience, including his memorable 21-ball 60-run knock against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020, albeit in a lost cause, Hardik emphasized, "I don't like the innings where we lost. I don't believe in 50s or 100s. Stats are just numbers; it's a waste of time."

This statement from Hardik has sparked discussions within the cricketing community, especially in light of recent events involving player contracts. In light of the removal of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer from the BCCI's central contracts because of their non-participation in domestic cricket, former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan underscored the requirement for equitable treatment among all players.

Also read: IPL 2024 promo featuring Rahul, Pant, Hardik, Iyer creates buzz ahead of cricket spectacle

In a post on social media, Pathan questioned whether players like Hardik, who prioritize limited-overs cricket over the longer format, should still be expected to participate in domestic white-ball cricket when not on national duty. He stressed that such standards should apply uniformly to all the players to ensure the holistic development and enhancement of Indian Cricket.

"They are talented cricketers, both Shreyas and Ishan. Hoping they bounce back and come back stronger. If players like Hardik don't want to play red-ball cricket, shouldn't he and others like him participate in white-ball domestic cricket when they aren't on national duty? If this doesn't apply to all, then Indian Cricket won't achieve the desired results!" wrote former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan on X, formerly Twitter.

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