Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya asserted that he has been training rigorously and is more excited than nervous ahead of the 13th edition of the IPL. Pandya has been working hard on his fitness and did a lot of training when he was confined to his home due to the novel Coronavirus.
Indian all-rounder and MI star, Hardik Pandya is one of the most fearless cricketers on the block. He wears his heart on his sleeves and has a lot of swagger and flamboyance about the way he goes about things. While there have been cricketers, who failed to train as well at home as they would have liked in the last few months at home due to Covid-19, Pandya has been putting in the hours in training and is now very keen to start the 2020 IPL, which kick-starts from September 19.
"I am more excited than nervous, because [for] a good ten months I have been training and looking forward to playing, so the portion where the nervousness comes or the pressure comes has gone away. I am just more excited to be on the field and implement what I have worked on with regards to my training part, the practice sessions," Pandya was quoted as saying by ANI.
Hardik Pandya last played international cricket in September in 2019 against South Africa and had to miss the New Zealand tour earlier this year as he was still under rehabilitation after having undergone back surgery in October. The Choryasi-born all-rounder stated that he made the best use of his time at home by focusing on things that he can 'improve' and is now very excited to put into action, all what mental and physical preparation he did, while being confined to his home.
"Luckily we made a gym in the house and due to COVID-19 we weren't allowed to go out of the house so we focused and realised a lot of things that we can improve more. Because of all that hard work and preparation and thought process, it is just that I am very excited to implement what I have worked on," told Pandya.
There have been rising concerns ahead of the IPL after as many as 13 members from CSK, including Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad, tested positive for Covid-19 in the UAE. But the younger Pandya remains unfazed as he reckons that his job is to only focus on cricket and let the health officials do what is required in the best interest of everyone.
The lanky cricketer said, "For me, it is just simple. Follow what the health officials say and follow what the team management says. I let the professionals do their work and if they say that we should look after certain things, I think we should just follow that and be on track… So, we are only focusing on cricket right now because MI is taking care of the rest."
For the first time, IPL will be played without crowds and that is something that cricketers, especially in the cash-rich league, aren't used to. When asked about it, the star Indian cricketer opined, "It will be a different experience, but we have all played Ranji Trophy without fans and T20 cricket without fans. Obviously the fans add to the cheering part and the support, but for us when we are playing, we don't see much difference."