Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has gone through a rough patch of late. After a sensational start to international cricket, he went off the radar a bit and had a tough time on the overseas tours of South Africa and England. He was impressive in patches but couldn’t deliver on a regular basis.
Recently, in the Asia Cup 2018, he encountered a back injury while bowling in the game against Pakistan. The extent of the injury was such that he had to be carried off the field on a stretcher. The all-rounder has been missing out of the action since as he didn’t participate in the remainder of the Asia Cup and also missed the Windies series.
He is currently recovering from the injury and is uncertain of the comeback. “My recovery is on track. I’ve been busy with my fitness sessions and physiotherapy. I don’t know when (I’ll return to action), but right now I’m only focusing on getting fully fit,” said Hardik Pandya in an interview with TOI.
Hardik Pandya focussing on the World Cup
The 2019 ODI World Cup is less than a year away from now and the Indian team has a premier focus on that. The team is trying to build a core for the tournament and Pandya is looking to improve his skills to help the team bring the trophy back.
“My individual, and the team goal, right now is getting the World Cup back. It’s my biggest goal. I want to give more than 100% to make sure that we win the World Cup. That’s why right now, I’m focusing on improving my skills, fitness, mentally I want to get stronger. Because that 10-15% (extra) would be very critical. I’ll give 100%, but if I can give 10-15% more to my game, then it would give me great comfort, and I’d be able to do a lot of things which I’m not able to do now,” added the 25-year-old.
Pandya was criticized by the likes of Sunil Gavaskar and Michael Holding for his indifferent form but the cricketer is willing to take the comments positively and learn from the mistakes. “They’ve played so much cricket. Let them say it. It’s OK. I’ve heard them so much. I respect that. I’m worthy enough that they’re talking about me. If I wasn’t, they wouldn’t have said anything about me! I take it in a positive way,” said Pandya.
On Virat Kohli’s influence on his game, the all-rounder hailed the contribution of the skipper. “He’s been a great support. He’s helped me improve my game, which is a fantastic quality in him. Till now, I’ve grown with him. My career started under MS, then Virat took over. I’ve improved under both of them,” added Hardik.