Hardik Pandya has stated that he is living his dream by winning three Indian Premier League titles for Mumbai Indians, his favourite side even before debut, in the last five years. The all-rounder had debuted for MI in 2015 when they got their second title, followed by 2017 and 2019.
Since his IPL debut in 2015, Hardik has amassed 1068 runs and also has 42 wickets to his name in 66 games. This season has been his standout season as he has blasted 402 runs at a strike rate of 191.42 while picking 42 wickets. A win in the finals, that too over Chennai Super Kings, completes the performance and the Baroda all-rounder did not fail to reiterate his love for the franchise.
“As I said in the last game, before making my debut, I had Mumbai Indians as the wallpaper in my mobile phone, three titles in five years, I'm living my dream,” he said at the post-match presentation ceremony, reported Cricbuzz.
MI have been winning the cash-rich league in alternate years after their first win in 2013. Pandya revealed that many told him they’ll lose this time going by the law of averages but he was confident of making it the fourth time, making MI the most successful side in IPL history. Actually, we were told we might lose this as we had won three times already, but I said no, we have won three times and we will make it four. I think the credit goes to the coaching staff and Mahela in particular,” he expressed.
Pandya will play in the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales starting May 30. Even before playing their first game on June 5 against South Africa, the Indian team will play their first warm-up match against New Zealand on May 25. The hard-hitting batsman reckoned that his focus will -now shift towards the quadrennial event.
“The focus was on the IPL until now and it will now turn towards the World Cup,” the 25-year-old asserted.
Hardik’s elder brother Krunal Pandya has not lived up to the expectations with the bat in this season as he only scored 183 runs in the entire season. He has been decent with the ball as he scalped 12 wickets but acknowledged the fact that he needs to improve.
“I want to mention the way Hardik played this season is amazing. I don't need to look elsewhere to learn and improve,” he said.
The finals was a roller coaster ride with the odds shifting in every ball. MI finally edged CSK by one run and Krunal, who had debuted India in 2018, was extremely delighted to end up on the winning side.
“It was too close. What an unbelievable game and to win over CSK is really special. It's a dream come true for us from our childhood days we wanted to play at a good level playing for the country and playing the IPL for such a big franchise. When we were not playing also Mumbai Indians was our dream team. To represent them and win the finals like this is great,” signed off the 28-year-old.
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