Allrounder Says He Has Always Been Transparent About Fitness During His Communication.
Hardik Pandya’s bowling fitness status in the past couple of years had led to conjectures about his apparent “lack of communication” with national selectors and team management but the flamboyant all-rounder on Tuesday made it clear that “everyone knows” where he
stood. Pandya’s back problem had led to him not bowling a lot in the past two years but
he intends to “surprise” everyone during the upcoming IPL where he would be captaining the CVC-owned Ahmedabad franchise. “They know where I am (in terms of bowling fitness). It has been communicated to everyone,” Pandya said during an interaction.
“Hardik the batter and bowler combined sounds much better than Hardik the batter,” he admitted. When asked how is he placed in terms of bowling, he said, “It will be a surprise
for everyone.” But he did admit that it has been challenging not being able to perform as an all-rounder although the criticism that came his way during T20 World Cup didn’t bother him much.
“It’s been challenging (not being able to bowl) and I have always given (contributed) in three areas of the game. But when I had decided that I wanted to only bat, I just wanted to spend some time on the ground and it has been challenging, yes,” he admitted. Constructive criticism is something that he is looking forward to. “Healthy criticism is always good, but criticism generally doesn’t bother me as I know what I’m doing.”
Captaincy is a pretty new thing for Pandya as he had done that only once at U-16 level for Baroda which is chalk and cheese in terms of leadership at this level. There is no “manual» for his captaincy but he does have a philosophy which is straight out of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s textbook.
“I will give an example when someone is on a high and everything is falling in place, he genuinely does not need any one. I have always believed that when someone is having a bad day, that’s when he needs you, “he said, something that his Guru Dhoni has always followed as a leader. Pandya knows exactly what he would like to imbibe from the three captains he has played under- Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
From Virat, I will pick his aggression and passion, his energy which is tremendous. From Mahi bhai it’s the composure, calmness, remaining same in every situation, trying to see what new things he can add. From Rohit, I would pick the freedom as he lets the player decide what he wants to do. These three qualities if I can pick up, it will be a very good combination,” he said.