Hardik Pandya is an asset for any team and the all-rounder has proved it with his performances over the years. In his six years of international career, Pandya has achieved enormous success. But being a fast-bowling all-rounder is not an easy task considering the workload one has to go through.
Hardik Pandya also became a victim of the workload as he was severely injured after the 2019 World Cup. Such was the intensity of the injury that the all-rounder had to go under the knife and was ruled out of action for months. It was a hectic schedule for Pandya in 2019 as he had played non-stop cricket including featuring in the high-intensity Indian Premier League.
This had made the cricketer’s body sore and he was facing troubles before the ODI World Cup began. It was then Hardik Pandya sought help from team India’s then strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu. The all-rounder had asked Basu to get him through the World Cup somehow, revealed the former coach in interaction with Ranveer Allahabadia on the latter’s YouTube channel BeerBiceps.
“Hardik is a great guy. I remember the 2019 World Cup, it was post IPL and he was sore, having played a lot of matches. He said to me ‘Sir, please get me through this World Cup. I need to be fit’. And I got him through. It is easy to work with him. He will be convinced to do whatever you want him to do. Obviously, the demand of an all-rounder is very different – understanding the body and all,” told Basu.
“He had not played much of junior cricket. Suddenly, he has been catapulted to the international level, and the loads are much higher. He has to do it day in and day out. He is getting used to it now. Of course, fast bowlers and all-rounders are going to get injured every now and then. That is part and parcel of the game,” he added.
Notably, Basu’s help worked for Hardik Pandya in the 50-over World Cup as the all-rounder scored 226 runs and claimed 10 wickets in the tournament. However, it did not work in the long term as Pandya eventually had to undergo surgery. He also missed plenty of cricketing action post that.
Nonetheless, the all-rounder made a roaring comeback with IPL 2022 where he led Gujarat to their maiden IPL title. The 28-year-old then returned to the Indian team setup and is looking in fine touch.