India all-rounder Hardik Pandya made a comeback to the Indian side after putting on an outstanding performance in IPL 2022. Pandya, playing for the Gujarat Titans (GT), amassed 487 runs in 15 games while also taking 8 wickets in the 2022 season.
This performance earned him a comeback call from the national team for the recently concluded five-match T20I series between India and South Africa. Since his comeback from injury, he has appeared to be in a much calmer avatar, which many have attempted to explain.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar noted during the 5th T20I on Sunday (June 19) that Hardik Pandya's personal loss transformed him into a better leader, as evident by the sensitivity with which he speaks about his father, who passed away in January 2021.
“This is a fantastic story. For both the brothers to have lost their father a little while ago it was a big blow. We saw it on the father’s day pictures just now, how close they were to their father and how their father had helped them to grow as cricketers,” Gavaskar said.
“So to be able to come out of that and play the way both brothers have done has been a story that would encourage a lot of others. There are times when a tragedy can strike you, but you have to grow out of that tragedy for your father, your loved ones so that he is happy watching from up there. Every time the brothers do well, they look up to the sky to say to their father that this is for you,” he added.
The legendary batter stated that having a leader like Pandya, who has a lot to give to Indian cricket, is beneficial to the national side.
“And you know it is fantastic, the maturity I see in Hardik Pandya’s batting, the maturity that has come in his cricket. And there is only hope for Indian cricket, now he has tempered his talent with that little bit of responsibility,” he stated
“He grew up in a team of superstars, be it India or Mumbai Indians and it is easy to say there that I will play my game. Now he realizes as a captain that I need to take up responsibility, I need to show to my team, how things must be done,” the cricketer-turned-commentator concluded.
The batting all-rounder was recently named captain of the national team for the two-match T20I series against Ireland, which begins on June 26 at the Village in Dublin.
(STAR SPORTS INPUTS)