Hardik Pandya is one of the most shouts out players in this season of IPL and one of the most probable promising performed for ICC World Cup 2019 as well. With a performance metrics of 380 runs in 14 matches and 14 wickets with maintaining a strike rate of almost 200, he is not just MI’s saviour in non-favourable situations but also has becomes the darling of many veteran players, current coaches and to fellow MI players. What adds to his intense performance is the ability to hit every ball hard and sway them beautifully, be it swing or even deadliest of Yorkers which are most recommended to be left untouched as they are way too risky. How often do we get to witness such level of the game from a 25-year-old, our guess is, Very rare! Pandya played his first IPL in 2015 and his game was good enough to catch attention from some veterans and selectors, Pandya made his debut in international cricket soon after and did well against Australia by taking 2 wickets in his first match. All was well with this young, dynamic player who claimed himself to be very expressive and outspoken.
But in the year 2018, there came a series of speed breakers that jolted Hardik one after another. While he was dreaming of playing world cup 2019, he got ruled out due to Back injury from Asia Cup 2018. He gradually gained his fitness back and played some memorable cricket in Ranji trophy to steel applause from the crowd which was usually reserved for the home team. This led to Pandya’s comeback in ODI series against Australia in Jan, but his selection faced another jolt when the episode of Koffee With Karan featuring KL Rahul and him aired just before the series opener. Pandya and KL were banned and sent back to India in middle of the tournament due to their offensive and derogatory comments towards women.
The setback was massive and had no fixed timeline for H. Pandya to return in International Cricket. But the suspension was lifted later that month and Pandya flew to New Zealand to play six international matches but there was more twist to come. With just 100 days for ICC World Cup 2019, Pandya was hit by another injury, stiffness in his lower back which ruled him out of any other series before the world cup. This was the kind of situation which could have put a full-stop on his thriving cricket career, but instead, he used this period to excel his batting. He joined NCA and literally never came out of his house before IPL. And looks like all that hard work has payed-off. Hardik Pandya is redefined, brilliant in his game, confidently has played some extraordinary innings in this season of IPL and soon will be flying to England for his first World Cup, with no baggage of injury or suspension. Now, that is what we call “A Comeback”.