Hardik Pandya is one of India’s most exciting cricketers . He is an all-rounder who bowls medium fast and comes up with some lusty hitting.
The well-built Hardik made his T20 International debut for India in January this year in Australia. The 22-year-old gave a good account of himself when he snapped two wickets against Australia in Sydney. His performance in his debut match earned him the laurel from many experts of the game .They all felt that a good all-rounder had arrived.
In his second T20 match against Sri Lanka at Ranchi, Pandya was promoted ahead of reputed players like Yuvraj Singh and even captain M.S. Dhoni. Pandya did not disappoint the selectors and slammed 27 off 14 balls. This was the knock in which he showcased his batting prowess.
Hardik also gave a very good account of himself in the Asia Cup tournament in Bangladesh, where he smashed 31 off 18 balls which helped India to a respectable score against Bangladesh. Later on, he also picked up a wicket to secure the win. In the next match against Pakistan, he bowled his career best figures of three for eight which restricted Pakistan to 83.
Pandya has rated that bowling spell against Pakistan as one of his best. “I will remember that match for a long time. To take three wickets for eight runs against Pakistan was something which I did not dream of,” he was to say later.
Pandya was to anchor a brilliant victory for India against Bangladesh in the World T20 match in March. In this match, Hardik took two crucial wickets in the last three balls of the last over of the match as India beat Bangladesh by one run. At one stage, it seemed India was on the verge of losing before Pandya turned it around with a breathtaking last over.
Moving on to the domestic scene, Pandya was at his best serving Baroda. He played a vital role in helping Baroda winning the Mushtaq Ali Trophy in the 2013-2014 season. It must be mentioned here that in the opening match, Baroda were struggling at 20 for the loss of two wickets at the Wankhede Stadium, when Pandya walked in to bat in the fifth over. Thereafter, he turned it around with a blistering 57-ball unbeaten knock of 82. Baroda won that match and Hardik caught the eye of former Indian and then Mumbai Indians head coach John Wright who was present at the venue along with the Mumbai Indians think-tank. Thereafter, he was picked up by Mumbai Indians to play in the IPL.
In IPL 2015, he scored a quick fire 21 runs of eight balls and grabbed three important catches to help Mumbai beat CSK by six wickets and was awarded the Man of the Match.