Hardik Pandya, Team India all-rounder, has turned out to be one of the decade’s best finds as a finisher and a batsman with an aggressive instinct who can bowl and was even responsible for the Indian team ending their search for an elusive all-rounder. However, his cricket journey so far has not been all smooth, with a significant wobble coming in the form of a suspension by the BCCI in 2019.
The board suspended Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul for their insensitive remarks on a TV show. As a result, Hardik Pandya missed a large portion of India’s tour of Australia and New Zealand, and it made an impact off the field as well, with the public perceiving him in a different way. As a result, the all-rounder lost several endorsement deals as well.
Hardik Pandya Opens Up On Being Bad Boy Of Indian Cricket After Insensitive Remarks On A TV Show
Hardik Pandya revealed the testing times he endured after the suspension was lifted. He claimed he struggled particularly at the start of the 2019 IPL, despite coming into the tournament in solid form.
India allrounder Hardik Pandya faced tough times in his career in 2019, after his appearance on a talk show ‘Koffee with Karan’ led to a wide media outburst. Some of his remarks on the show went viral on social media, and brought negative reactions from the public, leading to the cricketer being suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), along with KL Rahul.
“When I heard I was going to get suspended, a lot of cricketers who knew me personally, who knew what kind of an individual I am, they went out and spoke about it, which is fine. They thought I was done. I heard lots of people saying, ‘Hardik’s done, he won’t be able to cope with this.’ Because I was the bad boy of Indian cricket at that time.”
Hardik Pandya set the tournament alight after overcoming the initial struggle. He went on to amass 402 runs at a strike rate of 191.42 at IPL 2019, averaging 44.66 with the bat. Apart from that, he contributed with the ball as well, with 14 wickets averaging 27.85 to his name as the Mumbai Indians clinched their 4th title.
Hardik Pandya Struggled After Coming Out Of Suspension In 2019
Hardik Pandya revealed how he struggled to concentrate after coming out of his suspension. Hardik Pandya said that he felt a lot of emotions because of how people were perceiving him as the ‘bad boy of Indian cricket’.
“At the Chinnaswamy [Bengaluru], while practising, I was missing the ball by this much (shows a wide gap). Because when this is not right (points to head) and when you question yourself, things just go wrong. That day I cried during training because there was a lot of emotion. Because of how I was portrayed [after the talk-show incident]. I was never that individual. I was not able to concentrate on my sport because there was a lot of expectation from myself, leave anyone else.”
He added that Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene and brother Krunal Pandya played important roles in helping him get his headspace right. Hardik Pandya will feature for Team India in the upcoming T20 World Cup, but his role is yet to be defined. His struggles with injury, which have severely hampered his ability to bowl, means that he will only be able to feature as a pure batsman.
Hardik Pandya has played 49 T20Is and has averaged below 20 despite a strike rate of 145, amassing 484 runs in 49 matches. He has also taken 42 scalps averaging 26.45. As a finisher in the 2021 T20I World Cup, he would certainly look forward to amending his batting average and bowl a few overs, trying to pick crucial wickets.