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How chat show storm made Hardik better

April 19, 2019 11:55 IST

'When he was away from the game due to injury and the other reasons (controversy), he worked a lot on his fitness.'

'What like I most about is his never give up attitude. Every year he is adding something or the other to his game.'

Hardik Pandya

IMAGE: Hardik Pandya worked on tackling pacers during the off-time he had and the desired results are showing. Photograph: BCCI

Mumbai Indians all-rounder Krunal Pandya feels the time his younger brother Hardik spent away from the game has helped him become a better cricketer.

Having overcome a back injury and a massive controversy following his sexist comments on a popular television chat show, Hardik is displaying menacing form with the bat ahead of the World Cup.

 

"When he was away from the game due to injury and the other reasons (controversy), he worked a lot on his fitness. We started playing the game together and one thing that I can say that cricket has always been his priority.

"Honestly, there are very few players who have a work ethic like him. His goal is always to improve, and if you do that you become consistent," said Krunal, after the Pandya brothers guided Mumbai to a 40-run victory over Delhi Capitals, in Delhi, Thursday.

Be it spinners or bowlers with express pace, Hardik has developed the ability to hit them out of the park.

"Earlier he used to smash spinners; now he is also doing the same to pacers. He worked on that area during the off-time he got and he has got the desired results," said Krunal.

"What like I most about is his never give up attitude. Every year he is adding something or the other to his game. In fact, I have also a learned a lot from him."

Hardik (32 off 15) and Krunal (37 off 26) amassed 51 off last 18 balls to propel Mumbai to 168 for five against Delhi Capitals.

Krunal said the extra 20 runs in the ‘death overs’ made all the difference on a difficult Kotla wicket.

"I guess, while batting it was a very tricky wicket. When I went inside and when Hardik came in we were not aiming for 170; we thought 145 was a good total on this wicket. The way Hardik batted, it changed the momentum for us and we ended up with those extra runs.

"While bowling, we knew how the wicket would behave and our bowlers knew to how to bowl on it."

Krunal, who claimed the wicket of Colin Munro, also tried to bowl with a slingshot action, like Kedar Jadhav.

"The way T20 is going, you have to keep coming up with something new. The batsmen are hitting sixes from ball one and Rishabh (Pant) was batting, so I thought it was a good time to try something new," he said.

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