Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Hardik Pandya: Life, Career, and Wife of the Star Indian All Rounder

Hardik Pandya is an Indian cricketer who is renowned for his skills with both bat and the ball. He is a staple fixture on the Indian cricket team and has led the team to glorious victories. In domestic cricket, he plays for Baroda. He is also a star performer for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. Hardik Pandya’s brother, Krunal Pandya has also played for the Indian cricket team. Let’s find out more about this star cricketer.

Hardik Pandya: All You Need to Know

When was Hardik Pandya born?

Hardik Pandya was born on October 11th, 1993 in Surat, Gujarat. His father was a car finance service provider, who used to work in Surat but had to relocate to Vadodara (formerly known as Baroda) because he wanted to provide better cricket training facilities for both his sons who showed great promise in the sport. After moving to Vadodara, both the Pandya brothers were enrolled in the Kiran More Cricket Academy. The family wasn’t very financially strong and resided in a rented apartment in the Gorwa area of the city. They used to travel to the cricket academy in a second hand car. 

Where did Hardik Pandya study?

Hardik Pandya went to the MK High School. He dropped out in the ninth grade to focus solely on cricket.

How were Hardik Pandya’s early days as a cricketer?

Hardik Pandya rose steadily through the ranks of junior-level cricket and managed to win a lot of matches “single-handedly” in club cricket. However, his expressive nature and a tendency to wear his heart on his sleeve led to him being dropped from his state age-group teams. Pandya said that he was “just an expressive child” who does not “like to hide his emotions.” Until the age of 18, Hardik Pandya was a leg spinner but his Baroda coach Sanath Kumar convinced him to switch to fast bowling.

Hardik Pandya: Cricket Career

Player Profile

Hardik Pandya is well known for his tattoos and highlighted hair. He has the charisma and the swagger of a modern day cricketer. He shot to fame after being selected to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He is known for his supreme confidence and high energy and he has never shown any reluctance towards taking risks. While he hasn’t spent a very long time with the Indian cricket team, he has already wowed fans and selectors with some excellent knocks with the bat in ODIs, sealing off some tight run-chases and scoring quick runs when required. With the ability to surge when required and target a particular bowler, he has pulled off 20-run overs in pressure situations. His batting abilities under pressure have been critical for India’s continued success. He has also managed to slowly take the place of the aging Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the swashbuckling big hitter who can guide the Indian cricket team through troubled waters and on to victory. His flair and exuberance with the bat don’t translate very well to test cricket though. He still needs to work on his fundamentals in order to become successful in the longer version of the game. As good as he has been in the ODIs, he has struggled a little on wickets that aren’t very batsman friendly. His bowling has taken giant strides, as he has perfected the art of swing and has figured out the optimal trajectory for his speed as well to impart maximum lateral movement on the ball.

Is Hardik Pandya the first truly great Indian all rounder since Kapil Dev? It’s definitely too early to say that. However, he does provide a much needed balance to the team. If he remains grounded in the midst of all the glamour, and shapes his game under the able guidance of his seniors and coaches, he is destined for greatness. Hardik Pandya is a true star of Indian cricket today and his stock is only rising. As his youthful exuberance blends with maturity, he will definitely emerge as a cricketing icon who might go on to become an icon for billions of Indian cricket fans.

Domestic Cricket

Hardik Pandya started playing for Baroda in 2013. During the 2013-14 season, he was a key contributor to Baroda’s victory in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. During a match against Vidarbha in January 2016, Hardik Pandya smashed a swashbuckling 86 runs studded with eight sixes to lead Baroda to a dominant six wicket win in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Indian Premier League (IPL)

During the 2015 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Hardik Pandya blasted a quickfire 21 runs off eight balls and took three vital catches and led the Mumbai Indians to a six wicket victory against the Chennai Super Kings. For his fantastic effort, he won the Man of the Match award as well. After the first qualifier against the Chennai Super Kings, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar told Hardik Pandya that he will be able to play for the Indian senior team within 18 months. However, Hardik Pandya was chosen to play for the Indian squad during the 2016 Asia Cup and 2016 ICC World Twenty20 within 12 months only.

Later on against Kolkata Knight Riders, during a must-win situation for Mumbai Indians to stay within the race for the best 4 teams of the IPL, he scored a quickfire 61 off 31 balls to win the match for his side and earn his second man of the match award in the season. He was also awarded the ‘Yes Bank maximum sixes award’ for the same match. 

In a 2017 clash against the Rising Pune Supergiant, Hardik Pandya smashed 30 runs in the last over of the innings. The 30 run scored against RPS’ Ashok Dinda, was a record for the IPL at that time. Unfortunately, the Mumbai Indians went on to lose the match. As a part of the 2018 IPL Player Auction, Hardik Pandya was retained by the Mumbai Indians for Rs. 11 Crores. He played well during the season but didn’t have any remarkable games. He performed better with the ball than the bat.

In the 2019 season, he dominated together with his batting and bowling equally. Playing 16 matches, he made 402 runs and took 14 wickets, averaging 44 and amassing 28 fours and 29 sixes totally within the season. He was the Super Striker of the Season of Mumbai Indians. He had an impressive strike rate of 170, second only to Andre Russell, who scored runs at an astonishing strike rate of 205. Against the Kolkata Knight Riders, chasing a target of 232 in 20 overs, Hardik scored a super fast 91 off just 34 balls and took his team closer to victory. However, the mammoth total turned out to be too much in the end and the Mumbai Indians fell short by 33 runs.

International career

T20Is

Pandya made his Twenty20 International debut for India on 27 January 2016 at the age of twenty-two, learning 2 wickets against Australia. His first Twenty20 International wicket was Chris Lynn. In the second T20I against the Sri Lankan cricket team at Ranchi, he batted before Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni and hit 27 off 14 balls before becoming the hat-trick victim of Thisara Perera. In Asia Cup 2016, Pandya smashed an 18-ball 31 helping India post a good score against Bangladesh. He also ended up picking a wicket to seal the win. In the next match against Pakistan, he bowled his best figures of three for 8 which restricted Pakistan to 83. In a 2016 World Twenty20 match against Bangladesh on 23 March, Pandya took two crucial wickets within the last three balls of the match’s final over as India beat Bangladesh by one run. His career best bowling figures of 4 for 38 were achieved during the 3rd and final Twenty20 International against England on 8 July 2018. He also performed well with the bat, scoring 33 runs in 14 balls and sealing India’s win with a six. Hardik Pandya became the first Indian to scalp 4 wickets and score above 30 runs during a T20I contest. 

ODI career

Pandya made his at some point International (ODI) debut for India against New Zealand on 16 October 2016 at Dharamshala. He became only the fourth Indian cricketer to win the Man of the Match award on his debut. He joined Sandeep Patil, Mohit Sharma and K. L. Rahul on the list. In his first ODI innings as a batsman, he scored 36 runs from 32 balls. In the group stages of ICC Champions Trophy, Pandya hit three consecutive sixes off Imad Wasim within the same over before rain stopped play. On 18 June 2017, within the final of the Champions Trophy at the Oval, he struck a 43-ball 76 during a losing cause, after coming in with India at 54/5 following a top order collapse.

For his performance with both the bat and the ball, Cricinfo named him into their ODI XI for 2017.

In April 2019, Hardik Pandya made the Indian team for the 2019 Cricket World Cup in 2019. He also reached the milestone of 50 ODI matches during a match against the West Indies.

Test career

Hardik Pandya was selected into India’s Test squad for England’s tour of India in 2016. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury while training in the nets at the PCA Stadium and was forced to miss the series. He finally made his Test debut at Galle during India’s tour of Sri Lanka in July 2017. In the 3rd and therefore the final match game against Sri Lanka at Pallekele, Pandya scored his maiden Test century, and set the record for becoming the primary Indian batsman to score a Test century just before lunch. He also set the record for scoring the most runs in a single over of a Test innings for India, scoring 26 runs. This century was his first century in international cricket.

Who is Hardik Pandya’s wife?

Hardik Pandya with his wife and son

Hardik Pandya is married to Serbian dancer and actress Nataša Stanković. The couple welcomed their first child, Agastya Pandya on July 30th, 2020. Before he dated Stankovic, Hardik Pandya also dated Swedish-Greek actress Elli AvrRam.  

What controversy was Hardik Pandya involved in?

In January 2019, Pandya appeared with teammate K. L. Rahul on the show Koffee with Karan. During the show, he made several comments which received extreme public backlash. Pandya talked about how he used to walk around with a condom in his wallet and used to always inform his family whenever he would come back home after having sex. He also talked about going to an event and pointing out at the women who he had been sexually involved with. Apparently, his parents were very impressed by that too. Hardik Pandya also boasted about how he likes to “observe how women move” at high-end bars and nightclubs, as well as on social media and then went on to liken himself to a black person saying, “I’m a little from the black side so I need to see how they move”. Almost all the things that Hardik Pandya said during the interview were labelled as indecent, derogatory, misogynistic and disgraceful. Pandya apologized for his remarks by saying that he had gotten carried away by the nature of the show.

How did the BCCI react to the Koffee with Karan controversy?

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) responded to the controversy by saying, “It will be considered whether players should even be allowed to appear on such shows which have got nothing to do with cricket.” The BCCI decided that the comments made during the show by Hardik Pandya were very crass, sexist and cringeworthy, and was not impressed by the apology, seeking appropriate legal action into the matter as it was a breach of conduct. Both Pandya and Rahul were handed a suspension until a pending investigation and were called back from the ongoing tours of Australia and New Zealand. On January 13th, 2019, Gillette pulled the plug on its endorsement deal with Hardik Pandya. On January 24th, 2019, after lifting the suspension on Pandya and Rahul, the BCCI announced that Pandya would re-join the squad for the matches in New Zealand.

What did Hardik Pandya do during the lockdown?

During the COVID-19 lockdown, star all rounder Hardik Pandya worked towards becoming an expert in “finishing games when it mattered the most”.

Pandya led India to a six-wicket win with a remarkable 42 off 22 balls, helping the side score 25 off 12 balls and 14 in the final over to give India a win in the match and an insurmountable 2-0 lead in the series against Australia.

“During lockdown, I wanted to focus on finishing games where it matters the most. It doesn’t matter whether I score or don’t score more runs,” Pandya said at the post-match press conference.

The situation in Sydney wasn’t something new and unusual for Hardik Pandya, having won some and lost a few in the past.

“I have been in these situations many times and I learned from my mistakes in the past. My game is always around the confidence which I carry, it has that fine line where I back myself and not become overconfident.

“I always remember all those times when we chased big totals and it helps.”

Pandya smashed fast bowler Daniel Sams out of the ground for two massive sixes. The one over midwicket sealed the game for India. Pandya said: “It was not about what they are doing, it was about what I can do. It’s a matter of two big shots and today it came off. I always back myself. It’s the situation I have always played. Whatever the team requires I always try to do. It’s very simple. I like to look at the scoreboard and play so that I know which bowlers to target.”

He said he had always focused more on the process rather than the end result.

“In T20s, you actually have more time than you think. If we need 70-80 odd in 30 balls, I don’t look at the whole thing and I break it down to 12 balls and focus more on the process than the end result.”

For his spectacular performance, Hardik Pandya was given the Man of the Match award. However, Pandya added that he felt that T Natarajan who produced an incredible spell of 2/20 in four overs, should’ve won the award.

“Special mention to Natarajan as well. I thought he should be the Man of the Match because the bowlers struggled here and he had a really good game.

“He gave us a target about 10 or 15 runs lower than what it would have been. He keeps it simple and I prefer people who don’t complicate things,” Pandya said.

When Hardik Pandya was asked about his imminent participation in the test series as a specialist batsman, he said “It’s a different ball game. I don’t mind, the call is the management’s.”

What is Hardik Pandya’s net worth?

As of 2021, Hardik Pandya’s net worth is $ 5 million. Most of his money comes from playing for team India and the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. His flamboyant personality has also helped him land a lot of endorsement deals and he earns a lot of money through them also.

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