Hardik Pandya gets the monkey off his back

Hardik Pandya brought up an IPL half-century after a gap of 17 innings.

The peak

Hardik Pandya had his best IPL season with the bat in 2019 when he scored over 400 runs from 16 matches at an average of 44.6 and a strike rate of 191.42 with 28 boundaries, 29 sixes and the best of 91.

Other than that, he has never really touched even the 300 run mark in a season. However, he has maintained a brilliant strike rate more often than not.

The low average is understandable given that he has played the role of the finisher for the longest time and there aren’t a lot of opportunities for consistency but a couple of good strikes might win your team the game.

No show with the ball

Hardik did not bowl in the IPL in 2020 and 2021. He had good seasons with the ball in 2018 and 2019 when he picked up 18 and 14 wickets at 21 and 27 respectively.

Having not scored an IPL half century in 17 innings, Hardik Pandya was under pressure going into the 24th match of IPL 2022 between Rajasthan Royals and Gujarat Titans.

New role

The skipper, batting at number 4 in his new role at the Gujarat franchise, came good with a vintage knock to take Gujarat to a 37 run victory.

This is what the captain had to say after the win.

“Always good to win. It is just cramps. Not used to batting for so long. Gives me time though to calculate. Today I got the rhythm and planned my knock. It allows the others to play freely. I have done the other role where I have scored 12 balls 30. Captaincy is always fun. Be the flagbearer of the team. The team is gelling well. I wanted all of us to be happy for each other’s happiness. That is working well for the team.”

Back to best

It was a relief for Pandya after he brought up a half century after 17 long innings in the IPL.

He batted at number 4 and not only clubbed the ball but played some pure cricketing shots as well, remaining unbeaten on 87 off just 52 deliveries with 8 boundaries and 4 sixes at a strike rate of 167.31.

Pandya guided Gujarat to a formidable total of 192. In reply, Rajasthan Royals fell short by a big margin of 37 runs as Gujarat collected two crucial points.

Saksham Mishra

Justifying hours of watching sports by scribbling down a few logical lines that might just about hold your interest. Was not talented enough to make it as a professional cricketer, so the next best logical option was to enroll in a Mass Communication course, and write about sports instead. Because, what else is there to write about in this world, right?
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