Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya has left many surprised with his breathtaking batting displays in the ongoing season of Indian Premier League. While Pandya’s abilities to hit the ball a long way was never in doubt since his debut in IPL four years ago, it is his consistency and the ease with which he is clearing the ropes that have left many mighty impressed. Throughout this season, Pandya has been bailing Mumbai Indians out of trouble with his finishing skills.
The highlight of this season so far came against Kolkata Knight Riders last week. Mumbai Indians had their back against the wall after being reduced to 58 for 4 in the ninth over while chasing a mammoth 233. However, Pandya played a gem of a knock, hammering 91 from 34 balls to revive Mumbai’s hopes for a while. 78 off those 91 runs came through boundaries off just 15 balls. So far, Pandya has amassed 355 runs, with a breathtaking strike rate of 198.32.
Ahead of the crucial clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday, Mumbai Indians all-rounder Kieron Pollard heaped praise on Pandya. The West Indies star recalled Pandya’s debut season to state that the all-rounder has the potential to hit the big shots.
“Even when he came onto the scene, if you remember, in a couple of games for Mumbai (Indians), he finished off with his big hits. He is a small guy but hits the ball a long way. And once he continues to practice well and continues to evolve as a cricketer, you can see him doing great things not only for Mumbai Indians but (also for) Indian cricket,” Pollard said.
Pollard, who himself is known for his big-hitting skills, spoke on what Pandya needs to excel. The veteran all-rounder said that his Mumbai teammate needs the backing and confidence of others to do well.
“It is a matter of him having the confidence and you giving him the confidence for him to believe in himself because he is one of those guys who is free-spirited and just goes out and tries to use his youthful exuberance to have an impact on the game,” the West Indies all-rounder said.
Mumbai Indians, meanwhile, will be looking to seal their playoff spot with a win against Sunrisers Hyderabad.