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Always grateful to those who stood by me: Hardik Pandya opens up on his comeback journey

This journey of Pandya from being out of the team for months to getting named the Player of the Series has sent the 28-year-old over the moon.

Ritesh PathakAuthor

Updated - 18 July 2022 05:09 PM

Hardik Pandya - sportstiger

Hardik Pandya has set the perfect example of how to turn setbacks into memorable comebacks. The India all-rounder was stunned by a back injury in 2019 and suffered heavily due to that for two years post his surgery. While the 28-year-old recovered enough to be able to get back to cricketing action, he was struggling to contribute with the ball. Seeing this, many questions raised about his future in the Indian team.

Many experts sought a replacement for Pandya and got one in Venkatesh Iyer. With nothing going his way, it seemed Hardik Pandya’s short cricketing career will end in disdain. However, after the horrors of the T20 World Cup, along with Team India, Pandya also underwent a transition. He stayed out of action for almost six months and trained really hard. But a dip in his form resulted in his exit from Mumbai Indians.

Hardik Pandya was then offered the captaincy of one of the two new IPL franchises, Gujarat Titans. And much to everyone’s surprise, the rookie captain not only led Gujarat to their maiden IPL final in their first season itself but also won the title. Pandya led from the front throughout the tournament as he scored over 400 runs and also took important wickets. His three wickets in the final changed the fate of the match.

With India’s top all-rounder back with a bang, selectors took no chance and included him immediately in the national setup. Pandya played the South Africa series and did well. He was then asked to lead the side in the two T20Is against Ireland which India won 2-0. But the biggest challenge was the England tour that had six white-ball games.

Nonetheless, Hardik Pandya made the most of the opportunity presented to him as he scored a half-century and also bagged a 4-wicket haul in the 1st T20I against England. The 28-year-old continued his impressive run in the ODIs as well where he scored 100 runs and took six wickets in three matches. For the same, Pandya was also named the Player of the Series.

His best performance came in the series decider where the all-rounder first took four wickets and then scored a crucial 71 in the chase of 260. This journey of Hardik Pandya from being out of the team for months to getting named the Player of the Series has sent the 28-year-old over the moon. Summing up his journey in the last two years, Pandya shared a montage where he showed his struggles during the injury and then his rise from thereon.

The India cricketer also thanked everyone who stood by his side in these tough times as he wrote “Through the ups and downs, with my people by my side. Woke up every morning raring to go, with the will to become stronger, with the will to become fitter and play for my country. Always grateful to those who stood by me, who encouraged me, who guided me” in the caption of his post.

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