‘Rahul Sir Said Luck Comes to Those Who Work Hard’: Pandya on His form

Written by Praveen CA

The last time India played Bangladesh in a World Cup, Hardik Pandya suffered a freak injury which forced him out of action for months. He pushed his limits to return to the Indian dressing room in the tournament itself but it didn’t work out. He was sidelined for a brief period of time during which he went under a rehabilitation program at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). He announced his comeback in the IPL where he was mistreated by the fans and was subjected to a barrage of criticism.

But as soon as he donned the Indian jersey and got into the role of Rohit Sharma’s deputy, he was a different Hardik Pandya altogether. On Saturday, Bangladesh bore the brunt of his allround show as India moved closer to the T20 World Cup semi-final with a 50-run win in Kingstown.

Speaking about his injury and failing to recover in time to join the team back, Pandya said probably God had different plans for him.

“I’ve always been very fortunate to play for the country. It was a freak injury which happened [During the ODI World Cup 203 match against Bangladesh]. I did try to come back but, God had some other plans, could not make it back,” Pandya said at the post-match presentation.

“I put in hard work and made sure that I gave myself some opportunities to luck come my way.

“The other day, I was speaking to Rahul sir, and he said luck comes to people who work hard. That has stuck with me, and I just want to keep my head down and keep working hard,” he added.

India lost wickets in bunches after Bangla captain Shanto put them to bat first. After Rohit Sharma’s early dismissal, Kohli and Suryakumar fell in the same over; bowled by Tanzim Santo. After Rishabh Pandya tried to accelerate, Pandya and Shivam Dube stitched a 53-run stand whereas the vice-captain smashed an unbeaten fifty.

Pandya said that India can still better at not losing too many wickets in quick succession.

“We have played really good cricket. More than anything we have stuck together and executed our plans. I did realise the batters wanted to use the breeze, I made sure I did not give them a chance where the wind was blowing, it was about being one step ahead as a batter,” Pandya said.

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Praveen CA