The Challenge and Excitement of being Hardik Pandya

NewsBharati    24-Jun-2024 09:56:42 AM
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-Devdeep Tyagi

To most of us who view the Indian cricket team as a bastion of excellence, the role of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma appears paramount. Make no mistake- this doesn’t change in the game’s shortest format.

Hardik Pandya t20 world cup

It is- and it’s hard to refute- the decisive factor that edges games in the team’s favour. Virat became the first Indian to go past 4,000 runs in T20I’s for his nation. Rohit Sharma on the other hand, got India off to a flier at the campaign opener thanks to a breezy half century against Ireland.

What Pandya brings to the table

The duo, after all, connote a batting experience of easily 8,000 plus runs in the format. The other evening against Bangladesh, Kohli stayed put at an important juncture despite not seeming in the best of touches to lend early credibility to an ultimately huge total.

And with Bumrah bowling as well as he’s ever done, 10 wickets already in the competition, proving himself to be simply unplayable on more occasions than his opponents would like- India easily emerge as the class of the field alongside Australia.

But truth be told, it is due to someone like Hardik Pandya through which the team sources its flair and the much needed impetus needed to excel in the trickiest of formats and even in difficult situations.

A giver of strength to a starry order

Hardik Pandya might not be the glue around which the team revolves, but he’s the provider of strength when the team needs to come good in both disciplines of the game.

A wonderful reminder of the sheer skill and not to forget, the confidence that Pandya lends to the starry Indian stable was learned a few hours ago.

The significance of the knock Bangladesh

Pandya’s performance first with the bat, a 50 off 27 perhaps became the most important knock from the bat of an Indian since Suryakumar Yadav’s belligerent 53 against Afghanistan.

And later on, Pandya emerging as the first wicket taker from India’s stable during Bangladesh’s inning served avid reminder of his sheer utility with the white ball.

That Pandya got the big wicket of Litton Das wasn’t the only big taking point; rather it was the sheer timing of that first wicket- Bangladesh reaching their best opening stand (35 runs) that made the dismissal critical.

Having said that, one tends to grasp the significance of Hardik Pandya’s usefulness to his side in the context of the Super-8 stage.

Pandya’s Passion to perform

Lending great courage and passion to perform, the latter perhaps his biggest USP in the sport, he ensured that India continued their winning juggernaut in the T20 World Cup and the contest, lest it is forgotten, is far from over.

On the whole, Pandya reminded obsessed fans, who often tend to forget that the team has so many more characters than the great King Kohli and the Hitman Rohit about his sheer ubiquity.

Indian cricket will always revel in the greatness of Kohli and Rohit’s bat and Bumrah’s unplayable and envy inspiring spells.

But it’ll also continue to rely on the strength of someone like Pandya to stamp its authority on the game. But just how difficult might it have been for the right hander from Gujarat to have played such a world class knock, one wonders?

Have his Trollers got trolled yet?

Make no mistake- if there’s a cricketer who’s perhaps been rather unfairly trolled as seen off late, and often, harshly from his own countrymen, then it’s Hardik Pandya.

Surely, he was struggling back then. He didn’t seem to be displaying the breeziness and confidence with which he generally operates. Yet, it’s important to reflect that Pandya soldiered on.

And yet, they trolled the man responsible for 1437 T20I runs and 81 wickets when he played the IPL at Wankhede. He wasn’t cut a slack when he played at other venues.

But it’s the same lot that today is perhaps realising the resourcefulness of a cricketer who brings undeniable excitement with both bat and ball and someone, who’s hopefully going to get (even) better as the tournament reaches its decisive end.

The game against Bangladesh was amazing for Pandya who scored, don’t forget, a fourth of his entire team’s runs alone. But he must keep going further.