It has been a while now since Hardik Pandya has blasted a big knock. It is surprising to witness how he has fallen from the grace and being candid, he is least bothered about it.
History has a lot of lessons for the ignorant only if someone is willing to pay heed to the same. Maybe he isn’t an avid aficionado of the subject and is heading down a path where the likeliest end will hold thorns instead of flowers.
I know it’s none of my business to chart a path that he can follow to arrest the downward momentum but as one of the most firebrand fans of Hardik Pandya, it breaks my heart to see him go down like this.
If you have heard about Jim Baxter and his towering presence in the heart of English football, you must have also heard how he went down in flames. Let me give you quick context, however.
Hardik Pandya chose the path that promised him a strong hedonistic blur and despite being a talisman of the sport, the vice of the hedonism was so strong that his clubs could not dissuade him of its addiction and a shiny career that could have shot through the roof, split up in sparks of chaotic fire.
Another iconic example of this blazing burnout can be taken as the life of James Hunt. The man who set F1 great Niki Lauda as his perfect competitor and best friend went down the dead man’s road for a life that was unruly, to say the least.
The honour that has been racked up by Hardik Pandya in a very short span of time is something to be proud of but as Napoleon quoted, “Glory is fleeting, obscurity is forever”, so is what Hardik should know. In a country where the sport is being worshipped and the ones who mesmerize the fans take the pedestal of a God, here ignorance is not taken casually.
There have been erstwhile situations where Pandya has drawn comparison with former Indian greats with the kind of fiery cricket that the man has played. He started his career with the role of an all-rounder, more predominant as a bowler than a batsman.
However, with time, his batting came to the fore instead of his bowling. Despite the switch happening, Pandya continued with his bowling and helped India to prise out crucial overs.
As Pandya copped a nasty back injury that limited his bowling prowess, he stunned everyone with his excellent batting illustrations against the mighty Australia Down Under.
However, ever since then, it has been a vertiginous slump and there is absolutely no attempt to arrest it. Neither has been impressive with the bat nor his bowling has been hopeful enough. The fans believe that he is getting too carried away with his former success.
In fact, the reports of him quitting the longest format of the sport pose a serious question, has he started considering himself God? Because the ones who played God earlier met a very bitter end. If this doesn’t scare him, it is highly unlikely that something else will.
Test cricket is a crucial aspect of the sport that prepares you mentally to withstand blows coming from all corners of the globe. It makes you resilient and is an excellent teacher of patience.
Pandya is an all-rounder who could have been the perfect companion to Ravindra Jadeja to bring together chaos in the middle. Jadeja continues to thrive in clinical fashion in all formats of the sport while Pandya is unable to cure his injuries.
To make matters worse, he is not even attending the domestic camps that can actually help him rebuild his confidence. I am not sure of what he is thinking right now but even legends of the sport like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly always managed to return to some form of domestic cricket to keep themselves in shape.
The obvious question here is what is Pandya thinking? Is he thinking that the IPL will serve his purpose? Maybe, it will. However, that is not the road that he must take if he should keep his aspirations to play for the country alive.
The first and foremost step to his resurrection must to be complete his rehab and start hitting the nets again with the cherry in his arms. Secondly, he needs to change his mindset and start playing the longer format of the sport to be back to his helm. Thirdly, if he is unable to cope with the current situation mentally, he should resort to the man in charge of the Indian cricket team, Rahul Dravid.
Rahul Dravid is an ocean of cricketing knowledge and nothing can be better than having him at the helm of affairs. Finally, his lifestyle needs to be more focused on cricket instead of the current antiques that he has been pleasing himself with.
This probably sounds more like a rant. However, when you expect immensely from someone whom you have started liking enormously, following him, idolising him, his decline breaks your heart.
In the last open letter that I wrote for Pandya, I mentioned that he has a beautiful middle name, Hardik Himanshu Pandya. It is not always that you need to be aggressive, Hardik. Maybe at times, you can be beautiful and elegant too like other cricketing Gods were.