Hardik Pandya recalls tough last seven months after all-round match-winning show against CSK
Ups and Downs in Hardik's life gave him strength to hit right back to be on track
Updated - Apr 4, 2019 8:09 pm
Life has not been kind to all-rounder Hardik Pandya of late. Ever since he was stretchered out of the ground in a high-voltage clash with Pakistan at the Asia Cup last September, the Baroda cricketer’s career graph took an unfortunate nosedive. He missed matches for a few months and a historic Test series in Australia. Just about when he was about to make a comeback to the ODI side for the series Down Under, he was struck by a television controversy along with KL Rahul. He faced a temporary suspension and then after making a brief return to the field, the 25-year-old missed the home series against Australia because of a back injury.
It was not a build-up Hardik would have liked ahead of the World Cup in which he is expected to play a big role for his team. However, he is back now into the Mumbai Indians (MI) fold and has played all their four games in the ongoing IPL 2019 without any interruption. On Wednesday, Hardik did justice to his all-rounder’s tag by excelling with both the bat and the ball. He helped the Mumbai side hand the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) their first loss of the season.
Wednesday’s Pandya-monium helped MI dismantle CSK
Hardik came out to bat in the dying overs of the game at the Wankhede Stadium with Mumbai Indians not having scored too much. But like he had done against RCB last week by producing a brisk knock of 14-ball 32 not out, he belted three sixes in his eight-ball 25 not out against the CSK. The MI ended up with a good-looking score of 170 for 5 in 20 overs. Hardik was not done with it yet and after the break, he produced a dream spell of three wickets for 23 runs in four overs to see the CSK stopping at 133 for eight in 20 overs to lose by 37 runs. Hardik wasn’t performing too well with the ball so far but scripted a brilliant return in the match.
Hardik remembered his hard times after the game and said: “The injury happened and then the controversy too. These seven months weren’t easy and I wasn’t sure of what to do. This award is special and I dedicate it to all those who stood by me during those tough times. My goal is to keep performing and hopefully, help India win the World Cup.”
He said it felt good to contribute to the team’s winning cause. He said he hadn’t played much of competitive cricket for last seven months but never fell short of practice at the nets. “I am someone who loves to have game time and I am hitting them really well at the moment,” he added.
Hardik was given a good company by West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard who scored 17 not out off seven balls and the two added 45 runs in the last two overs to make it competitive for the CSK. This win took the MI’s points to four but they still remained the worst lot among the four teams that have the same points because of an inferior run rate.