‘Now want to win World Cup,’ says Hardik Pandya after Mumbai Indians’ fourth IPL title
Shrugging the off-field controversies, Hardik Pandya was in his element scoring 402 runs at a strike-rate of 191 plus and 14 wickets apart from 11 catchesUpdated: May 13, 2019 12:55 IST
After playing a major role in Mumbai Indians’ record fourth IPL title, all-rounder Hardik Pandya has now set his sight on winning the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 for India. Pandya scored 16 runs off 10 balls and bowled only 1 over for 3 runs in the IPL 2019 final against Chennai Super Kings but he was one of the main reasons behind MI’s success throughout the season. Shrugging the off-field controversies, which almost threatened to end his cricketing career a few months ago, Hardik was in his element scoring 402 runs at a strike-rate of 191 plus and 14 wickets apart from 11 catches.
“I played well this season, but now time to move on. I want to lift that World Cup trophy as well,” Hardik said in a flash interview with the official broadcasters after Mumbai Indians beat CSK by 1 run in the IPL final.
Hardik and elder brother Krunal were barely into their teens when IPL started in 2008 and it was a dream come true for them to have won the trophy together on two occasions (2017). Hardik has now been a part of three IPL winning teams.
“I used to have Mumbai Indians posters in my room growing up, and to win with them. Amazing.” He was happy that Law of averages didn’t catch up with Mumbai Indians, who had defeated CSK thrice in this edition (twice in league stages and then Qualifier 1).
“Lot of people were saying that we had won three times so they would win the fourth. But I told Krunal, no, it’s going to be 4-0. I lost a few kgs today, such a tight game it was.” Brother Krunal had a hand with an accurate throw from the deep that got rid of Shane Watson.
“Unbelievable game. From childhood, we wanted to play good cricket together. Even when we weren’t in the IPL, we wanted to play for Mumbai Indians.” For the elder brother, who is now India’s T20 specialist, the younger sibling is the source of inspiration.
“He has been unbelievable. I don’t need to look elsewhere for inspiration, I have Hardik.”
Team India will leave for World Cup on May 22. The tournament begins from May 30. India start their campaign against South Africa on June 5.
(With agency inputs)
First Published: May 13, 2019 11:50 IST