India’s star all-rounder Hardik Pandya missed a lot of cricket because of his back injury, however, he made a stunning return to the Indian side. His comeback to the Indian side has been one of the most inspiring cricketing stories of 2022 so far.
BCCI Tested Venkatesh Iyer In Hardik Pandya’s Absence
Hardik Pandya was at his peak when he got injured and making a comeback from there seemed distant for him. He made a return after undergoing successful surgery, during last year’s T20 World Cup, where he played as a pure batsman but failed to deliver.
Questions were raised on his form and as a result, he was dropped from the team. In his absence, the BCCI tried several players to fill the shoes of Pandya. While it was still impossible to fill the void, one player had impressed one and all with his heroics in the Indian Premier League, and the player was Venkatesh Iyer.
Venkatesh Iyer was given an opportunity to play for India. He played 9 T20Is but failed to replicate the IPL success. On the other hand, Hardik Pandya made a blockbuster comeback, that left everyone stunned. He led Gujarat Titans to their maiden title on his first try as captain.
Hardik Pandya Took A Dig At Iyer
Riding on the back of his performances in IPL 2022, Pandya returned to the Indian side, and ever since then, the cricketer has been giving back-to-back amazing performances.
Recently, in an interview, Hardik was asked whether he feels he has become the ultimate all-rounder of the current Team India. Senior journalist Vimal Kumar asked him – ‘Kya ab aap India ka Hardik Pandya ban gaye hain?‘ (Have you become Hardik Pandya of India?)
Responding to this, Pandya came with an epic response and it seemed as if he took an indirect dig at Venkatesh Iyer for not taking up the opportunity in his absence. He said:
“Aap bate sakte hai sir, mujhe toh nahi pata. Mera to naam hi Hardik Pandya hai toh banne ki zarurat nahi hai Hardik.(You can tell that, sir. I don’t know. My name is already Hardik so I don’t need to become one),”