Mumbai Indians' (MI) star all-rounder Hardik Pandya is feeling excited over his comeback after a prolonged break and is backing his preparations to bear fruits during the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in UAE, starting September 19.
Pandya, who had his layoff following back surgery last year extended by the COVID-19 outbreak, is confident of good performances in the tournament where defending champions MI start off their campaign on the opening day versus Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Abu Dhabi.
“The way I’m hitting the ball right now, the shape I’m in, the mental space I’m in, it is just a matter of time that I go and spend some time on the ground and I think things will come out pretty well," said the 26-year-old in a video posted by Mumbai Indians on their official Twitter handle.
“No matter how far I go from the game, no matter how long I stay out, when I come back, it has to be worth it. I have prepared very well and I think, great things are coming ahead," he added.
After his surgery in London in November 2019, Pandya went through rehabilitation and played in the DY Patil T20 tournament held in early March. He was selected for the home ODI series against South Africa, which was later suspended due to the pandemic.
“IPL is something that I have enjoyed a lot and I would like to make a comeback very strong and I’m just looking forward to it,” said Pandya.
“In my life I have realised one thing that injuries would be with me. No one wants to get injured, but I accept the fact that what I do, injuries would be a part of it."
“Injuries have always kept me going, always kept me motivated. Actually taught me how much I have to put in the hard yards and the hard work has always increased, never decreased," he added.
Pandya said he kept working hard on his fitness and didn't just rest at home while the country was in strict lockdown.
“Luckily, me and (my brother) Krunal (Pandya) had the privilege to have a gym in our house. So because of that portion, we were able to work on our fitness…," he said.
“And I always feel that if you go one step ahead in your fitness, there are much more magical moments in your life (that) are waiting."
In the DY Patil T20 Cup, Pandya looked at his explosive best with the bat playing for Reliance. One of the finest hitters of the cricket ball, he said the stint gave him confidence after the surgery.
“Luckily, I got one tournament before, which was DY Patil, which I played for Reliance. And as a player, it gave me immense confidence to implement the hard work which I have done over a period of time and it just felt good," Pandya concluded.
(Inputs from PTI)