The in-form Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya continued his good form with another crucial spell of 1/19 against the West Indies on Tuesday. India won the third T20I match by seven wickets to take a 1-2 lead in a five-match series at Warner Park in St Kitts. Hardik failed to make any impact with the bat after getting caught out on just four runs to Jason Holder’s delivery.
The 28-year-old big-hitter has made a great comeback from his injury struggles and inconsistent form. He guided Gujarat to Indian T20 League 2022 glory with 487 runs and eight wickets. His comeback to international cricket has also been a successful one with both bat and bowl. Before the ongoing West Indies tour, he smashed two fifties against England each in ODI and T20I, and also took 11 wickets in five matches (two T20Is and three ODIs).
In a recent interview with a senior journalist Vimal Kumar, when asked if he has become India’s Hardik after the third T20I match against West Indies, Hardik had a catchy reply.
“Aap bate sakte hai sir, mujhe toh nahi pata. Mera to naam hi Hardik Pandya hai toh banne ki zarurat nahi hai Hardik.(You can tell that, sir. I don’t know. My name is already Hardik so I don’t need to become one),” Hardik Pandya replied.
I might have become India’s all-rounder: Hardik Pandya
He has scored only 36 runs in the opening three matches against West Indies but has enjoyed a good performance with his bowling. He has taken two wickets in three matches at a very impressive economy rate of 5.30, the best among Indian bowlers so far. Also, he and Arshdeep Singh are the only two Indian pacers to bowl all possible 12 overs. It is clear that India are benefiting with a sixth bowling option contributing well, which was a big miss in Hardik’s absence.
Hardik has established himself as the first-choice all-rounder for team India and is likely to be part of the upcoming 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia. With no real competition for a pace-all-rounder option. Hardik highlighted that if someone is not performing, he will be India’s all-rounder.
“I try to give my best. If someone isn’t able to do what I am doing right now, I might have become India’s all-rounder,” Hardik added.