In a short interaction, the all-rounder talked about how his aggressive self helps him stay pumped up
A Caribbean in demeanor and tenor, Hardik Pandya is one bloke you wouldn’t like to miss in a cricket amphitheatre. In the groove, he is catching all the attention for his thrilling outings as a batsman, his mature handling of pressure in death overs and agility as a fielder in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) carnival where he represents Mumbai Indians. These days he is talking about being calm and composed in head as a mantra to deliver the goods and it is a sign of his growing mature as a player. But that isn’t an indication of his doing away with his trademark aggression and waggishness we fondly associate with him.
CAUGHT IN SLIPS replugs a short interaction with Hardik Pandya during his visit to Jaipur for a Ranji Trophy game against Gujarat at the Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Stadium in October 2016. The pacer talked about Team India’s skipper Virat Kohli being an inspiration and how his aggressive self helps him stay pumped up especially when the pitch at hand offers little assistance to the bowlers.
Let’s admit it, Kohli’s contagious vigor and vitality has not only helped him earn opponents’ respect but also that of his teammates. The peppy cricket sensation Hardik is one of those Indian players who swear by Kohli’s work ethic.
The pacer says that he is most influenced by the Indian captain, “I love his work ethic. He knows exactly what to do and the discipline he brings into play is amazing. Just look at his diet, gym sessions, training, everything is inspirational.” He further pointed out, “I have seen his pictures and it is there for everyone to see how he was and what he’s now. He has completely transformed himself and I look up to him.”
In recent times, after Kohli it’s Hardik who is most expressive on the field and enjoys getting into the mental aspect of the game as well. “I like to be aggressive for it gives me the much needed adrenaline that I need to go about my game. I enjoy speaking a few words out in the middle and this is how I enjoy playing my cricket,” he said.
The animated character that the pacer is, he doesn’t hold back and even in a domestic-level contest he likes to engage the opponent in mental battles. He explained the reason, “The wicket here at SMS is such that I got to do something other than just bowl to get pumped up.”
Certainly, the trait of aggression and attitude that was once a monopoly of Australians, that evoked both veneration and dread in opponents is no more their sole right. Without doubt, Indians have now started using this ‘strong’ expression to win and dominate.
After IPL, the 22-year-old will be seen taking a flight to England for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy beginning from June 1 . With his current form and fitness, Hardik should easily find a place in playing XI for no one can discount his prowess both with the ball and bat.