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IPL 2022: 3 Big Changes Hardik Pandya Has Made In His Batting

In just 5 games of IPL 2022, Hardik Pandya has asserted once again why he's India's current best seam-bowling all-rounder.

On Thursday evening, playing against Rajasthan Royals, Hardik Pandya won his first Man of the Match award in two IPL seasons. The Gujarat Titans captain had a perfect game: 87 runs off 52 balls with the help of 8 fours and 4 sixes; a wicket – caught and bowl – with the ball; and a run-out of RR skipper Sanju Samson.

In just 5 games of IPL 2022, Hardik Pandya has asserted once again why he’s India’s current best seam-bowling all-rounder and is likely to slot back in India’s T20I eleven after the IPL.

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He’s already scored 100 more runs this season in 5 innings than he did in the entire season last year – 228 in IPL 2022 to 127 in IPL 2021 – and also got the Orange Cap, albeit for a little while.


So what has changed in Pandya’s batting? Here are three big changes Hardik Pandya has made in his batting:

Promotion in the batting order

Becoming the captain of the Gujarat Titans, one of the big decisions Hardik Pandya made was to promote himself up in the order. While for Mumbai Indians he used to bat at number 5, 6 , and 7, for GT, the 28-year-old has batted at number 4.

Part of this decision is also that the batting around him at the Titans isn’t solid and he wants to bat through while allowing others to play with freedom. He understands the challenges of batting lower down the order and doesn’t want the finishers in GT to get under pressure.

After the game vs RR, he was asked about the reasons behind this promotion. Hardik explained:

“It allows other players to play freely and not take too much pressure. I have been in the situation many times where I have taken on the bigger role which is to come in at the death and hit a 12-ball 30. I find it very difficult but because of that experience, batting at No. 4 gives me time to rightly calculate and take down certain bowlers and certain overs.”

Has found the tempo to pace his innings

Hardik Pandya the marauder of the cricket ball has not been as emphatic this season so far as he’d been with the Mumbai Indians. However, since he’s adopted a more sedate, less risky approach to his innings, his average – a consequence of the length of his innings – has gotten bigger.

hardik pandya ipl 2022

He now has an average of 76 at a strike rate of 137 this season; in the first four matches, he averaged 47 but at a strike rate of 122. That is not the Pandya we knew: for MI, he averaged 27 but at a strike rate of 153.

This doesn’t mean that Pandya is batting slowly; he’s just taking lesser risks at the start of his innings as compared to his MI days when he arrived often with not many deliveries left to play, so he’d have to play his short from the onset. He’s ticking the scoreboard with hard running while also finding the occasional boundary; once set, he is ready to explode.

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“I am not used to batting this long. It is two games in a row that I have batted 15 and 17 overs. But I like it. It gives me time,” Hardik Pandya said, adding that this allows him to “calculate and take the right risks.”

Smartly picking his bowlers

Coming up in the batting order, and being willing to inhibit his attacking instincts has now added a more mature, responsible dimension to Pandya’s batting.

Knowing one’s strengths and weakness is important for any batter; Hardik showcased this smartness in his knock vs RR: he realizes he’s more adept at smashing the pacers than the spinners, so he cracked young and inexperienced Kuldeep Sen for three fours early in his innings and a six of the non-threatening Riyan Parag, allowing himself the leeway to just knock around Chahal and Ashwin for singles and doubles while his team was still rebuilding.

Hardik Pandya ipl 2022

Once he got his eye in, Hardik Pandya launched Ashwin for a couple of sixes but remained cautious against Chahal before tonking Prasidh Krishna for more boundaries.

“I think in the last game it didn’t come off how I wanted but today I made sure that I had a sense of approach where I was ready to take on bowlers,” he added.

ALSO READ: IPL 2022: Mohammad Kaif Called Rahul Tripathi “The Perfect Mix”

Jatin Khandelwal

Hi, I am Jatin Khandelwal. Cricket writing came accidentally for me with an undergrad engineering degree. With opportunities first as a freelancer and then full-time, and experience with time, I have grown in the role. The Cricket Lounge is a place where I can thrive with the best of my abilities.

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