'Who would've thought seven months back?' - Hardik Pandya after being named India's captain for Ireland T20Is

"Life can change a lot if you put the right mind and you keep working hard," Hardik said.

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Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya was recently named the skipper for the upcoming two-match T20I series against Ireland. After his back issues that led to his struggles in the T20 World Cup 2021, Pandya worked on his fitness at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and did not play any international series until making his comeback in the ongoing South Africa series.

However, he worked hard after the T20 World Cup and was rewarded with the leadership of the new franchise Gujarat Titans for IPL 2022. He took up the chance to redeem himself and led his side to a title win by leading from the front. His bowling skills were back at their best while he finished as the fourth-highest run-getter in the season, with 487 runs in 15 games at an average of 44.27.

He has transferred the confidence into the international assignments with scores of 31*, 9, 31*, and 46 in the four T20Is against South Africa so far, and no wonder, he has been handed over the captaincy reigns for the Ireland tour.

It is always an honour to lead your country: Hardik Pandya

Ahead of the start of the fourth T20I, Pandya was invited for a chat and he opined that he had already known that he would lead the side in Ireland despite the official confirmation coming late.

“Obviously, I kind of knew before the start of this series that I will be leading the side after this series. Kinda knew it, but it is always an honour to lead your country. Who would have thought seven months back? Life can change a lot if you put the right mind and you keep working hard,” Hardik told host broadcaster Star Sports.

Speaking on his bowling and finishing role, Pandya mentioned that he will turn up with one or two overs if he is needed as a sixth bowling option. He added that he has enjoyed the finisher’s role and reckoned that it comes naturally to him.

“It is obviously important, whenever my team requires, I will always be there to bowl a couple of overs. We play with six bowlers, it is important in T20 cricket that you have six bowling options,” said Pandya.

“I have always enjoyed that role (finisher). Where I bat and what I do, you need to really enjoy the situation, for me, I kind of enjoy the challenge that comes with it because it is not easy to swing from ball one or ball two. For me, it comes naturally. I enjoy the challenge,” he added.

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