Hardik Pandya. Photograph:( AFP )
The 28-year old Hardik, however, remains undeterred and shared his plans for the future, revealing that he already has 2023 ODI World Cup in mind during preparations.
Hardik Pandya has had a tough ride in competitive cricket ever since the gentlemen's game resumed in the Covid-19 era. Before the pandemic struck, Hardik was already battling a tough back injury and underwent a surgey, missing India's tour of New Zealand in early 2020.
Since then, Hardik was part of Mumbai Indians' (MI) IPL 2020 win but couldn't do much with the bat whereas didn't bowl a single over in the entire season. While he had a good run with the willow in India's tour of Australia which followed suit, everything slipped from thereon for the star all-rounder. He has bowled very few overs for Team India, didn't bowl in entire IPL 2021 as well, saw a dip in form with the bat and also lost the Test spot for not fulfilling the all-rounder's role. In addition, he is still not fully fit to regain his spot in the national side ahead of Rohit Sharma-led India's home season in white-ball formats.
Speaking to Economic Times, the 28-year old Hardik, however, remains undeterred and shared his plans for the future, revealing that he already has 2023 ODI World Cup in mind during preparations. "Yes, that’s the plan. My main aim is to be at my peak when the World Cup happens."
Hardik added, “All my training, planning, preparation is keeping the World Cup in mind. I want to win the World Cup for the country. It will make me really happy and proud. It is like an obsession with me. IPL will give me a very good preparatory platform for the World Cup but all the hard work ultimately is for the Indian team and the World Cup.''
Hardik has lost his place to Venkatesh Iyer, who is being groomed to fulfill the all-rounder's role in the shortest format. However, the Rahul Dravid-led Indian team thinktank are desperate to see the return of Hardik into the national side due to the balance and versatality he brings with him.
Hardik will next be seen in the forthcoming IPL 2022 edition, where the local boy will lead his home franchise Ahmedabad.