12/04/2022
Hardik Pandya showcased his maturity, calmness and game awareness in Indias 4-wicket win over Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2022. Heres a detailed analysis.

It spilled over to the post-match presentation too as the host broadcast presenter caught Hardik for a brief chat.

The India all-rounder, who made am important 40 and grabbed three wickets, did not really talked about his personal effort. But Hardik was more keen to talk and remember his late father and the sacrifices he made for him.

“I was only thinking about my dad. I have not cried about my dad. I love my son, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to do for him what my dad did for me. He moved cities for a six-and-a-half-year old boy’s dreams without knowing I’d get to where I am today. So this is for him,” Hardik told Star Sports.

It was a different side of Hardik for the world to see. A man who is generally perceived as all about blink and unabashed show off, the Baroda man revealed that at core he is now more aware of team dynamics and environment.

The partnership between him and Virat Kohli was a prime example of that. At the beginning of their 113-run alliance for the 5th wicket, Hardik made the early running with a couple of big hits as Kohli tried to suss up the conditions and bowlers. It was understandable that India needed Kohli in the middle after being reduced to 31 for 4.

But as the partnership progressed, Kohli shifted the gears and Hardik seemed to be struggling to put away the balls which he ought to have. However, there was no show of frustration or attempt to match or outscore Kohli.

Hardik was contend in giving the strike back to Kohli while running hard between the wickets. While bowling too Hardik was showed excellent game sense to execute the team’s plans. India skipper Rohit Sharma acknowledged that fact.

“We spoke of how we want to utilise our bigger boundary and try and challenge the batsmen a little bit.

You’ve got to sometimes understand what the pitch is doing, as well. That back of length, slightly back of length, slightly full, was not easy to hit, and what happened in today’s game will tell you that.

“A lot of the guys got wickets bowling that back of length because, like I said, at the toss, as well, there was a little bit of grass on the pitch and a bit of weather, quite nippy, as well.

“So, we knew if you keep hitting that length, it’s going to be challenging, and that is something that we kept constantly putting in bowlers’ ears, that challenge them — if they hit you a couple of successful there, it’s fine.

“Actually, we got rewarded bowling that length, as well. Hardik in particular bowling that kind of length and a couple of their batters trying to play cross-batted short got the top edge, and we got the wicket, and that is something that we spoke of at the start,” said Rohit in the post-match press conference.

Don’t read it wrong, Hardik is still quite the showboat, a modern generation sportsperson who loves to flaunt expensive watches, flashy dresses or luxury cars. But now, we know that beneath all that what is Hardik is made of.

In the last few months, perhaps starting from his IPL captaincy of Gujarat Titans, Hardik has been able to showcase that caring, mature side of him better.

It might just be a quirk that Hardik did all that in the company of a man who knows all about changing himself from a brat to a world beater.