Hardik Pandya, the all-rounder, has finally come home. Or should we say, Captain Hardik Pandya has finally come home? Whatever you'd like to call him, the man has put in the hard yards, and the results are for everyone to see.
It's not about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
Criticism, trolls, poor performance, surgery, Pandya defied all odds to be where he is today. He sure believed in the above quote from Rocky Balboa.
A lot of questions were raised about Hardik in these times. Some cricket pundits even wrote him off for good. But as they say, the comeback is always stronger than the setback.
Be it bat, ball, or leadership, Pandya has delivered whatever the team has asked from him. With the bat, Pandya has mostly come at number four. He even played at number three for some time. With the ball in hand, Pandya has bowled inside the powerplay, picked up wickets here and there, but most importantly, has bowled economical spells.
He is averaging 41.30 with the bat and has scored over 400 runs this season, with his highest being 87 vs Rajasthan Royals. As far as the captaincy is concerned, he has been praised by one and all for maintaining a healthy dressing room environment.
Vikram Solanki recently said this about Pandya's captaincy.
He has grown as a leader. He has taken to the captaincy very well. He has been very giving of his time and that is what exactly is paying off. He is having conversations with every bowler. Of course, someone like a Shami needs no guidance. But, it is always helpful to have a certain level of understanding about what they are planning to do.
The comeback saga hasn't ended yet. It is just the beginning though. Hardik looks motivated. He is back in the Indian T20 squad, and has time and again expressed his intentions of making India win the ultimate T20 prize.
It's his second shot at glory. Let's see how this innings pan out.