regular-article-logo Thursday, 25 April 2024

After IPL glory, Hardik Pandya wants to win World Cup

‘I am going to give it everything I have’

Our Bureau Published 31.05.22, 12:56 AM
Hardik Pandya with the IPL 2022 trophy on Sunday.

Hardik Pandya with the IPL 2022 trophy on Sunday. PTI

One down, one to go.

Having won the IPL title in the franchise’s debut season as captain Hardik Pandya has now set a bigger goal: To win a World Cup with India.


Moments after he collecting the winners’ trophy, Hardik was asked what his short-term and long-term goals were.

“Absolutely to win the World Cup for India no matter what happens,” Pandya said. “I am going to give it everything I have. Always been that kind of guy, to put the team first. For me, the goal will be simple: to make sure my team gets it the most.

“Playing for India has always been kind of dream come true no matter how many games I have played. It has always been a pleasure for me to represent the country. The kind of love and support I have got, it is only from the Indian team point of view. Long term, short term, I want to win the World Cup no matter what happens.”

Having won four IPL titles with Mumbai Indians, Pandya termed Sunday’s victory with the Gujarat Titans a “little special” since he was the captain.

“Obviously, this will be a little special because I have won it as a captain,” he said. “The four that I have won before this are equally special too. I consider myself very lucky that I have played five finals and have lifted the trophy five times. Obviously this will leave a legacy because we are a new franchise, playing for the first time, and we are champions in the first season. But the four that I have won before this were equally special.”

The Titans players and support staff were taken around Ahmedabad on a rooftop bus on Monday afternoon as part of their victory celebrations.

Pandya explained how putting together a potent bowling unit with head coach Ashish Nehra helped.

“Specifically, we both lean towards the bowlers,” Hardik said. “People say T20 is a batters’ game but I have always maintained that bowlers win you matches. Because if the batters don’t get a par score, if you have a gun bowling line-up, the bowlers can pull things back. We have always given ten runs fewer. Even when others have conceded 190, we have gone for ten fewer. Those ten runs win or lose you matches in the bigger picture.

“For me and Ashupa (Nehra), when we were starting, we wanted to create a strong and experienced bowling unit. So that even if there are times when batters don’t click, you can pull back with the bowling.”

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