A very different Hardik Pandya has come to the fore during this IPL 2022 and the Gujarat Titans skipper feels he has finally learnt to strike a balance on and off the field. Under Pandya, Gujarat Titans, a first-time franchise, have reached the final in its inception year, and Pandya’s 453 runs in 15 games and seven wickets have played role, apart from his calm demeanour as the captain.
“I’ve started to balance things in my life. It has been a constant effort through the last couple of years,” Pandya, who was once known for his flamboyant attitude said after the Titans’ comfortable seven-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 1.
“In the end, my family, my son (Agastya), my wife (Natasa Stankovic), and my brother (Krunal Pandya) as well have played a big role. They kind of allowed me to get neutral in life. I look forward to go home and spend some time with family, and that’s made me a better cricketer as well,” he added on a pragmatic note.
Pandya said that the feeling of reaching the final will take some time to sink in. “Don’t have much feeling right now. Trying to be neutral (calm) again I’ll say.”
It is the dressing room atmosphere and the presence of some great individuals that has brought about this kind of stupendous result. “All the 23 players are different characters, bring different things to the table. Was saying to Miller as well, if you have good people around you, you get good things. It’s been that story for us. The kind of people we have, the genuine human beings we have.
“I genuinely see even the players in the dugout are trying and praying for them to make sure they do well. That is something fantastic and that is the reason we have reached where we have reached. It’s all about making sure we respect this game.”
A kind of “Firsts” for @gujarat_titans!
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 24, 2022
He was all praise for Rashid Khan, who, once again, had a good day with the ball. “Rash has been fantastic throughout the season and throughout his cricketing journey.”
He lavished praise on Miller, who has singlehandedly won at least four games in the tournament so far. “But I’m proud of Miller – the way we have played. Wherever my team requires me to play, I don’t generally demand where I want to bat. That’s not how I’ve got success.”
(with PTI inputs)