Hardik Pandya started IPL 2022 with a bang. He slammed two impactful fifties in the first four games, found himself in the race for the orange cap, and bowled his heart out, picking up 4 wickets in the first five matches with an economy rate of 7.75. But then he missed a match due to an injury. Pandya returned to Gujarat Titans’ playing XI in the next match itself but since that injury, his performance with the bat has gone down drastically. He scored only 116 runs in six matches since his return from injury and did not bowl in five straight matches.
Although Pandya’s captaincy has impressed one and all as he led GT to the playoffs his fitness and form with bat and ball once again started to give rise to uneasy questions. Former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja said Pandya “tried to show off” a bit too much at the start of the tournament and in the end ended up injuring himself again.
“He (Hardik Pandya) has no one to blame but himself. There was no doubt that he was injured, he was making a comeback. He bowled at 140 km/h, which was perhaps more than what the team required. He probably tried to show off that he can do it, wanted to prove to the doubters wrong,” Jadeja said on Cricbuzz.
The former India batter said Pandya was ‘immature’ in the way he handled his body and work load.
“He put in all his effort and body… So much that now he can’t even run properly. And this is a learning phase of life. A cricketer gradually understands his limits. So once again it showed his immaturity.
“He had 14 matches show his might but he perhaps wanted to prove people wrong a bit too early. And now it has cost him as well as Gujarat Titans. You should know your body. You can’t be working according to others. He was immature,” Jadeja said.
GT are currently sitting on top of the IPL 2022 points and they would aim to keep the momentum going by winning the remaining matches and stay on top. If they finish in the top two, they will get two shots at reaching the final according to the playoff format.
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