'I don't believe in 50 or 100s': Hardik Pandya's powerful 'waste of time' remark | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'I don't believe in 50 or 100s': Hardik Pandya's powerful 'waste of time' remark on his most electrifying IPL knocks

Mar 02, 2024 11:07 PM IST

India all-rounder and Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya had a rather blunt take on statistics, saying they're 'just numbers' and a 'waste of time' for him.

More than five months after he twisted his ankle while playing, Hardik Pandya is set to make his much-awaited return at the Indian Premier League 2024. Yes, one may argue that the India all-rounder made his comeback to cricket at the DY Patil tournament, but there are fewer things in the world more challenging, competitive and grueling than participating in an IPL season – let alone in a new role. Hardik's homecoming to Mumbai Indians will see him take the field in an all-new avatar as he is set to captain the franchise for the first time, taking over the responsibilities from Rohit Sharma.

Will Hardik Pandya's return to Mumbai Indians change the team's fortunes? (Mumbai Indians-Instagram)
Will Hardik Pandya's return to Mumbai Indians change the team's fortunes? (Mumbai Indians-Instagram)

It was on December 15 that MI announced the change in guard, replacing Rohit with Hardik as captain, believing the time was right for the franchise to make a transition, and who better than Pandya – winner of IPL 2022 and runner up the last year – take Mumbai into a new era as they look to add an unprecedented sixth IPL trophy.

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As Hardik got ready for his 'ghar wapasi', the India all-rounder sat down for a freewheeling chat on the Star Sports Show 'Star Nahi Far' and relieved his journey with MI, where he started his top-flight cricket career nine years ago. As the show took an interesting turn, some questions related to Hardik's time with MI were thrown at the crowd, who took part in the quiz whole-heartedly. The segment began with a relatively simple question – Hardik's highest-score in the IPL – but when the second question about Hardik's total number of half-centuries scored in the tournament – that's where the crowd stuttered a bit.

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However, when the correct answer – 10 – was screamed at by the public, even Hardik was surprised. 'I have that many? Wow'. Next up, Hardik was asked to pick his favourite of them all, and it threw the all-rounder into a bit of a puzzle. When the public promoted, referring to a knock which wasn't audible, Hardik straight up said 'I don't like the innings where we lost."

Pandya's take on statistics

Pandya's 21-ball 60 against Rajasthan Royals from IPL 2020 was the next contender, and as expected, Hardik discarded it saying 'We lost that too', before passing an overall judgment on the hype surrounding statistics. "I don't believe in 50s or 100s. Stats are just numbers; it's a waste of time."

While Pandya may not hold stat in the highest of regards, the India all-rounder boasts some pretty impressive numbers in the IPL. He has scored 2309 runs from 123 matches at an average of 30.38 and strike-rate of over 145. With the ball, he has 53 wickets, but the biggest stat of them all is that he is a five-time IPL champion.

Two years ago, on switching to Gujarat Titans, Hardik led the team to its maiden IPL title in its debut season and followed it with a runner-up finish last season. As Hardik returns to where it all began, the base which made him the superstar that he is today, MI's hopes are banking on the all-rounder to take them all the way.

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