It won’t be wrong to say that Hardik Pandya is currently going through a purple patch in his cricketing journey. Since IPL 2022, he has been consistently producing notable performances be it with the bat, ball or through his leadership.
Having led debutant Gujarat Titans to a memorable IPL title win in May, Pandya was given the chance to lead India in two T20Is against Ireland and true to his form, the allrounder oversaw a clean sweep.
There have been murmurs of handing over the T20I captaincy to the 28-year-old given his recent success and form. On Thursday, he produced another impressive display starring in India’s big win over England in Southampton.
First with the bat, Pandya hammered 51 off 33 with the help of six fours and a six and then he took four vital wickets including that of Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Liam Livingstone and Sam Curran. No prizes for guessing, he was chosen as the player-of-the-match.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra is quite impressed with Pandya and labelled him as the most valuable T20i cricketer in India currently.
“He’s turning out to be the most valuable T20 player in India,” Chopra said on his official YouTube channel. “There’s no one like him. If fully fit, you can pit him against anyone. He’s India’s best T20 player. He has proved that by hitting fifty and then taking four wickets.”
Pandya says he’s enjoying his game and is spending a lot of time on his fitness.
“I am enjoying my cricket right now. For me a lot of time goes into the preparation to get my body ready. The kind of break I took before this run of play I want to capitalize on the opportunities. I felt I needed that break,” Pandya said during the post-match presentation.
He added, “It is about giving your 100% and when you don’t do that, there is no point playing. So I needed that break and now I am happy to be in this place right now.”