Hardik Pandya: The Flamboyant Superstar
For Hardik Pandya, it took just a few words from Sachin Tendulkar to transform his career. After watching Pandya smash 61* off just 31 balls during the 2015 Indian T20 League season, the Master Blaster told him, “If you keep doing this, you’ll be playing for India within the next one and a half years.” Pandya accepts that that was his light-bulb moment and he told himself, “Okay, let’s work hard now.”
Within 7 months, he was playing a T20I for India in Australia. Less than 2 months after his international debut, it was Pandya that MS Dhoni turned to for the final over as Bangladesh needed 11 runs to win a low-scoring match at the 2016 T20 World Cup. Pandya’s first 2 overs had gone for 20, and the first 3 balls of the final over went for 9 as he erred in both length and line. Game over, or so you’d think. But the next 3 balls saw two catches in the outfield, and a dramatic run-out as India clinched the unlikeliest of victories.
That coolness under pressure was the main reason why India’s team management ignored the many experts on the sidelines and picked him for the Test series in Sri Lanka in 2017. He finished that with a 96-ball 108 and 4 wickets, and went on to star with both the bat and the ball in South Africa too.
He was no less a factor in the Indian T20 League, as one of the key performers for a brilliant Mumbai team. In his seven seasons with the franchise, the title was won 4 times. Among those with more than 1000 runs in the competition, only Andre Russell and Virender Sehwag have a better strike rate than Pandya. He combined that thrilling batting with crucial wickets too. In the 2018 season, he took 18 wickets, justifying his place as a bowler alone.
Over the last couple of seasons, injuries haven’t been kind to him. The loss of his father, who endured considerable financial hardship after moving the family to Vadodara so his sons could get the best cricket coaching, was another massive blow. Pandya now hasn’t played a Test since 2018 and is no longer a regular in the ODI set-up either. But Rahul Dravid, who inspired him to take the leap from India A to the national side, will be the last to lose sight of a man whose talents are truly game-changing.
The move to the new Gujarat team is a great opportunity for Pandya to not only re-establish himself in the Indian side but also to show off his leadership credentials. The school dropout who was constantly punished by coaches during his teenage years for “bad attitude” has come a long way since the days when he was whacking tennis balls out of dusty maidans.
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Hardik Pandya’s Personal Details
- Hardik Himanshu Pandya
- Date of Birth
- 11th October, 1993
- Choryasi, Gujarat, India
- Batting Style
- Right-handed batter
- Bowling Style
- Right-arm medium-fast
- Playing Role
- Major Teams Played For
- India, Mumbai team, Gujarat team
Hardik Pandya’s Current Rankings
Hardik Pandya Career Summary
- Bowling Average
- Bowling SR
- 108 vs. SL
- 92* vs. AUS
- 42* vs. AUS
Hardik Pandya - Key Skills and Strengths
Built like a greyhound, Pandya is deceptively powerful. At his peak, he bowled quicker than 140 km/hr, and his six-hitting grabbed Sachin Tendulkar’s attention long before he played for India. Before injuries stifled his progress with the Indian team, Pandya had proved that he could mix it with the best in any format. His hit-the-deck bowling and cleverly disguised cutters offered the team a very handy extra bowling option, especially in helpful conditions. And his batting, especially a dazzling Test hundred in his debut series in Sri Lanka, was marked by both a wide range of strokes and sound technique. He has Test half centuries in both Cape Town and Nottingham, venues traditionally known to favor the seamers. Add in his superb ground-fielding and sharp catching in the outfield and it’s not hard to see why Virat Kohli once thought he could be India’s answer to Ben Stokes.
Hardik Pandya’s Awards and Achievements
Even if he has struggled to match his early impact in the colors of the Indian cricket team , the team management and selectors still consider him a key part of the future plans. With more than 2000 runs and 100 wickets in international cricket, Pandya’s quality isn’t in doubt. He is one of India’s few modern all-rounders who have been effective in all conditions.
Here are some of Pandya’s biggest achievements in international cricket:
Of those who have batted more than 25 innings, Pandya has the 5th best strike rate in ODIs.
His strike rate in T20Is is the highest for an Indian batter.
He was India’s highest scorer when India lost to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final in 2017.
Hardik Pandya’s Indian T20 League Journey
Though he switched to bowling seam only when he was in his late teens, Pandya left his mark on the Indian T20 League in his first season with the Mumbai team in 2015, with a thrilling 31-ball 61* to defeat Kolkata, who were the defending champions. He played his part in Mumbai’s 4 title wins, with his 402 runs and 14 wickets in 2019 being especially noteworthy.
Injuries prevented him from bowling in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, and after a poor season with the bat in 2021, Mumbai opted not to retain him before the mega auction. He ended up instead with the new Gujarat team and has been appointed as its captain. After investing ₹15 crores on him, they will hope to see more of the old Pandya in 2022.
- Indian T20 League
- 91 vs. Kolkata
Hardik Pandya: FAQs
A Jeep Compass car. The video of Himanshu, their father, taking delivery of it went viral. Sadly Himanshu passed away in January 2021.
“Time heals everything.”
Hardik Pandya tied the knot with Nataša Stanković, a Serbian model, in 2020. Their son, Agastya, was born later that year.
He would get ₹400 for each appearance.
Rahul Dravid, who now coaches the senior side.