Hardik Pandya is one of the important players of Team India but in recent times, he had faced rock bottom, more so because of his injuries. Alongside this, he had faced a suspension by the BCCI in 2019 along with KL Rahul for their remarks on a TV show.
Due to the suspension, Pandya missed India’s tour of Australia and New Zealand and people too slammed him as well. Hardik Pandya also shared the struggle he had to face at that time.
Rashid Khan's Top 5 T20 players he would pick in his XI:
1. Virat Kohli.
2. AB de Villiers.
3. Kane Williamson.
4. Kieron Pollard.
5. Hardik Pandya
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) October 12, 2021
While speaking to Cricket Monthly, he said, “When I heard I was going to get suspended, a lot of cricketers who knew me personally, who knew what kind of an individual I am, they went out and spoke about it, which is fine. They thought I was done. I heard lots of people saying, ‘Hardik’s done, he won’t be able to cope with this.’ Because I was the bad boy of Indian cricket at that time.”
“I was not able to concentrate on my sports” – Hardik Pandya
However, Hardik Pandya did well after coming back, amassing 402 runs at a strike rate of 191.42 at IPL 2019 as well. Apart from that, he scalped 14 wickets as the Mumbai Indians won their 4th title also. Meanwhile, he also said that coach Mahela Jayawardene and his brother Krunal Pandya had helped him get through that phase.
“At the Chinnaswamy [Bengaluru], while practising, I was missing the ball by this much (shows a wide gap). Because when this is not right (points to head) and when you question yourself, things just go wrong. That day I cried during training because there was a lot of emotion. Because of how I was portrayed [after the talk-show incident]. I was never that individual. I was not able to concentrate on my sport because there was a lot of expectation from myself, leave anyone else,” Hardik Pandya concluded.