Hardik Pandya: I have got the fear of failure out and I don’t bother about what’s going to happen
A few years ago Hardik Pandya had no idea what the future would hold for him but once the fear of failure was gone, he loved the version of himself that emerged, and two of his most significant shows this year have been against Pakistan where he has excelled in both departments.
A few years ago Hardik Pandya had no idea what the future would hold for him but once the fear of failure was gone, he cherished the version of himself that emerged.
Since he made a comeback to competitive cricket post a self-imposed recovery to get back his bowling fitness, he has led a new team (Gujarat Titans) to an IPL title and contributed with some crucial all-round performances for India.
However, two of his most significant shows this year have been against arch-rivals Pakistan where he has excelled in both departments of the game.
“There was a time when I didn’t know what was next for Hardik. So I had to get very involved in my thought process and then questioned myself “What do you want from life?”Pandya referred to himself in the third person as he answered a question from PTI in the mixed zone.
So what has been the biggest takeaway for him during the time he was out of action?
“I have got the fear of failure out and I don’t bother about what’s going to happen and what the result is going to be, what are people going to talk but I do respect people’s opinion,”he said.
If one has closely watched Pandya in 2018-19 and now in 2022, there is an obvious difference in attitude. His life has changed totally in the meantime. He became a father and also lost his father, who was more like his companion.
Then when ICC representatives wanted him to hurry up, he replied in his booming baritone voice:
“Aarrey inke 4 questions hai. Abhi sirf ak huwa hai baki 3 puchne toh doh (let the press ask their questions).”When asked if he likes the current version of himself, Hardik smiled.
“Yes, I can say that. I was telling Rahul sir as well that 10 months back, when I was just entering the ground, I was very happy, smiling, and excited. Rahul sir must have thought I was over-excited about the game.
“I just told him, this is what I wanted to do till I play the sport. Enjoy, the sport and contribute as much as possible and at a certain level of standard that I expect myself to play at.”For him, the last seven months have been the best of his life.
“As you said about the last six to seven months but I will count the time away from the game as well where I was preparing as one of the best moments of my life. It taught me a lot of things and got me in a way like I would have never imagined.”
“And that’s when I realized that it is time for you to be what you want to be – playing at the highest level, being able to contribute in every game, no matter what the result would be but being there, allowing yourself to contribute as much as possible,”he explained.
For Pandya, he needs to remember his good fortune by taking a gander at where he was and where he has now reached.
“I don’t think I would like to change anything in my life and this would be the best six months. I might have better days but the journey which has happened and from where I have come and where I have reached, very grateful to my family and also the people who helped me.”
“For me, these (vs Pakistan) are the games that make heroes. I don’t want to perform in a dead rubber where the team is already cruising and I come in and smash 80 runs. I like to score those 40s and 50’s when my team needs me more. Maybe a 40-ball 40 but that’s fine,”he explained.
“Even when there were three balls left, I told the boys, even if we lose it, it’s okay. I am just proud of the manner we have fought in this game. We have been a team that has worked hard individually and collectively.
“Even if we would have lost the game, I would have had a smile on my face and told myself, “You know what, they were good on that day but we tried everything.”Down the line, Pandya has “accepted the fact” that the sport will bring ups and downs.
“Partnership needed to be built and give myself and Virat to take the game deep, we were 31/4 and we didn’t have many options to play the big shots.”
“If you don’t try and stick around and instead play a big shot to get out, you would never know what the possibilities were if you had stuck around and can play risk-free cricket and take the game deep.
“Our mind was clear. So when we needed 50 odd in 3 overs, not for once did we think that the target isn’t achievable. We had the belief.”