Mumbai Indians star all-rounder Hardik Pandya, revealed how his expressiveness had been coined as an attitude problem in his early years as a cricketer. Moreover, Pandya stated that playing more games has sobered down his attitude as he had learned to keep his emotions in check.
Hardik Pandya has become a well-established name in Indian cricketing fraternity owing to his breath-taking all-around performances in two consecutive years of IPL and also at the international level. Pandya played a pivotal role in Mumbai Indians victorious IPL campaign this season as he scored 250 runs and scalped 6 wickets for the Mumbai side. The all-rounder's performances came at crucial times which resulted in victories for Mumbai.
Pandya in a recent interview with Indian Express revealed how his expressiveness in the game had been misinterpreted as an attitude problem.
"Someone asked me yesterday about how both jeet and haar mein Hardik likes to show his emotions. But that’s not something that has happened in the last two years. That’s how I have been since I was 16. Whatever you see is natural. From a young age, people used to say I have an attitude problem because I used to react. It was funny. As a 16-year-old I didn’t know what attitude meant. I wasn’t educated to that level", he stated.
"I’m glad that I’m not captaining the side. In that case, the camera will be on me and they will see a different reaction every ball. Like in the final, when Krunal (Pandya) dropped a catch, I was on the floor because I was highly disappointed. I wasn’t expecting the camera to pick that up and the camera eventually wasn’t on me.", he added.
The Mumbai all-rounder also revealed that the misinterpretation if his nature had hindered his growth as a cricketer in his early years.
"From U-13 to U-17, I used to be dropped from the junior state team because of this “attitude problem”. But I was just an expressive child. If I don’t like something about you, I will say it to your face. That’s why I feel like I am who I am. I don’t like to hide my emotions. Obviously, I need to understand when and what I can say, and that’s part of my learning."
Hardik Pandya was recently also picked In India's Champions Trophy squad owing to his sizzling performance in the IPL and is being considered as one of the key players for India in England's seaming conditions. Pandya revealed how time spent at the Mumbai franchise paved his way towards fame.
"At Mumbai Indians, they just wanted me to enjoy my game and I was just a young kid expressing himself, and who eventually got success. I was getting used to the fame. No one knew who Hardik Pandya was before 2015 IPL. I got picked for Rs 10 lakh. If people knew me I would have got a lot more money, not that it’s only about the money. I was from a struggling family. Well, we had a good family and then things changed, father’s health and all had a grave effect. That helped us. Where we are standing now is because of that situation. It is because how we coped with that."
The younger Pandya bowled the nail-biting last over against Bangladesh in Asia Cup and sealed the title for India and admitted to loving high-pressure situations.
"I enjoy that. Before I bowled that Bangladesh over in the World T20, I told the umpire, “If I do this, I will be the hero, but if I don’t I’ll be public enemy No.1”. He was actually laughing a lot and said, “Mate good luck.” And after the game, he gave me the ball and said you deserve it. I like the hero or zero scenario. If you are the hero you check what people say for your confidence. But if you are a zero, you don’t need to check. You’ll know yourself."
Finally, though the 23-year-old has been known to live life to the fullest he has been criticized for his way of living and admitted the criticism have helped change his ways.
It’s good that people are saying I’ve changed for the better. Personally, I don’t think much has changed. It’s just that I’ve got slightly better at my fitness and my other routines. I’m still confident but probably have toned it down a little. It’s always about your performance. I didn’t have a great IPL season last year, and that’s when there was a lot of talk."
"I do get disappointed a lot. Maybe I was thinking that I am a star. Now I am not entering the ground thinking that I’m a star playing but just a guy who enjoys the sport and wants to do well for the country.", Pandya said.
Did you know, Rohit Sharma is the only player in the world to score two double hundreds in ODIs.
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India or West Indies? Who will win?
WI hold a 60-53 H2H advantage over IND historically but in last 10 completed games between them , IND have won 7. IND has also won all last 5 games at this venue.