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Indian selectors relieved to see Hardik Pandya hitting purple patch in CSK game

He was the Man of the Match in the match against CSK.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo: IANS)

On-field injuries and off-field controversies marred the journey of ace all-rounder Hardik Pandya over the last half a year and the team management, selectors and the fans were not happy about it. The 25-year-old Baroda all-rounder is one of the key players that India will be looking up to in the ICC World Cup starting next month and the disruptions that he faced made all apprehensive about his form and fitness at the mega event.

However, Pandya’s all-round show in the game against a powerful Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday will now assure a lot of anxious minds. The Mumbai Indians (MI) cricketer first slammed a 25 not out off just eight balls to take his team to a respectable total and then knocked over three CSK batsmen, including the evergreen MS Dhoni, to help register a crucial 37-run win. Hardik was picked as the Man of the Match and he too recalled the tough times he had been facing over the last seven months.

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Hardik first suffered a bad injury during a game against Pakistan at the Asia Cup last September which put him out of the game for a while. He missed the historic Test series in Australia and just when he was about to return for the ODIs Down Under after making a decent return to a domestic game, he found himself embroiled in an ugly television controversy along with KL Rahul.

The temporary suspension that followed saw him missing some more games and eventually he got back to international cricket in an away series against New Zealand. But Hardik missed India’s final international series, which was against Australia at home, because of a back injury. The cricketer now has to make up for his missed practices in the IPL.

The national selectors were relieved to see Hardik making some meaty contribution in the game against CSK. One of them said the events that happened over the last few months were unfortunate and that Hardik’s show in the ongoing IPL is a clear indication that he has moved on and trying his best to make up for the lost time.

Hardik showed he has left the past behind, says one selector

“The World Cup is round the corner and as selectors it is pleasing to the eye when you see someone like Hardik doing so well for Mumbai. It clearly shows that he has moved ahead and is focusing on his game. Whatever happened cannot be undone. But how you learn from those mistakes and rise is what is a true test of your character,” The Quint cited reports as quoting the selector as saying.

Hardik played a handy knock against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) last week coming down the order which shows he is in good nick with the bat. However, the man was not doing as good with the ball in the earlier games but his performance against CSK shows that he is coming into shape as a bowler as well.

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