Hardik Pandya has been one of the most talked-about players in the IPL 2022– and for all right reasons. Eyebrows were raised when Hardik, who hadn’t played international cricket since November last year, battling form and fitness, was named the Gujarat Titans’ captain for IPL 2022.
The 28-year-old all-rounder, however, has shut down all his doubters in the IPL 2022 so far. Taking up responsibility as a captain, Pandya resumed bowling full tilt right from the first game, even clocking the 140 KPH marker. Twice in three matches, he took the new ball and delivered wickets too with that.
As a batsman, Hardik Pandya has promoted himself to number 4 in the batting order, and played two crucial, sedate knocks of 33 and 31, playing the anchor role. He has also garnered appreciation for his captaincy as GT won their first two matches.
Renowned commentator Harsha Bhogle is highly impressed by Hardik Pandya and his return to the field so far. Bhogle reckoned if Hardik Pandya continues bowling as he has in the first three matches for the Titans and keeps his fitness, the all-rounder will slot in straightaway in India’s eleven as the Men In Blue prepare for the T20 World Cup in Australia.
“If Hardik Pandya wants to show he is fit and ready, he is doing a great job. Taking the new ball, cranking up to 140 kmph and batting at 4. If he is fit and bowling like this, he walks into the Indian team,” HarshaBhogle tweeted.
If Hardik Pandya wants to show he is fit and ready, he is doing a great job. Taking the new ball, cranking up to 140 kmph and batting at 4. If he is fit and bowling like this, he walks into the Indian team.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 8, 2022
In Hardik’s absence, India found a like-for-like replacement in Venkatesh Iyer who shot in the limelight with his thrilling batting show and handy pace bowling display for Kolkata Knight Riders. Venkatesh also was impressive for India in his limited opportunities recently.
However, fans feel that a fit and in-form Hardik Pandya will be India’s first-choice seam-bowling all-rounder when the international season commences after the IPL.