All-rounder Hardik Pandya led Team India to a 2-run win over Sri Lanka in the first T20I of a three-match series on Tuesday. With Rohit Sharma being rested for the series, the responsibility of the team’s captaincy has been put on Hardik’s shoulders. In the past, the all-rounder has produced massive results as a captain, taking Gujarat Titans to their maiden IPL title and also Team India to victory against Ireland in a T20I series. Hardik, who has not played Test cricket since 2018, was asked on the eve of the first T20I about his return to the longest format.
Hardik’s reply left everyone in splits as he said, “When I will be seen in whites? Let me be fully on blues first, then I will see about the whites.”
Hardik made his Test debut in July 2017, after which he went on to play 11 matches and scored 532 runs. He has got a century and four half-centuries to his name, with a highest score of 108. Apart from this, he has scalped 17 wickets in Test cricket, including a five-wicket haul.
The Gujarat Titans skipper, who has a packed schedule for the entire year, filled with many international matches, stated that he only believes in hard work.
“I know the language of hard work. I don’t think I know any other language in my life. I’ve been thrown to the deep end and the only thing that has got me back is my hard work. Keep working hard and make sure I look after my body, which I do,” said Hardik.
“Injuries are a part of the game and I can’t change that. I am very confident of what I’ve done and believe in the process that has brought me here. Going forward, I just want to give my body ample chances to be out there and play my best”, he added.
The first T20I against Sri Lanka took place at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The T20I series will be followed by a three-match ODIs series, beginning from January 10 in Guwahati.