Hardik Pandya has revealed that Kieron Pollard has always been his inspiration after he finished the run-chase in the 2nd T20I against Australia on Sunday. Pollard has been with the Mumbai Indians since 2010, and Pandya joined the franchise in 2015.
Both the all-rounders and Hardik’s brother, Krunal Pandya, all share a close camaraderie. Hardik and Pollard were instrumental in Mumbai’s triumphant IPL season as the duo provided the late flourish to MI’s innings. Pollard has a strike rate of 191 and Hardik batted at 178, the highest and the third-highest in the tournament, respectively.
Hardik continued his rich vein of form from the IPL to international cricket. In the 3-match ODI series, the right-hander scored 210 runs at a strike rate of 114, winning the Man of the Match in the third ODI. In the second T20I in Sydney, with the help of Pandya’s 22-ball 42, India chased down 195 and have grabbed the series.
After finishing the game with a couple of sixes, Pandya said that his MI teammate, Kieron Pollard has been his inspiration. As both the player do a similar role for their national teams, Pandya has learned plenty from the West Indian.
During the post-match press conference, Hardik Pandya said, “Pollard has done it many times for his country and franchise, for me, the inspiration will always be him, I have been lucky to see some of his knocks in the past. We have all played cricket in the IPL, in franchise cricket we need to step it up as it is a professional sport, in international cricket, the love for cricket comes and you do feel pressure in international cricket.
I think I am in a very good zone: Hardik Pandya
The 27-year-old feels that apart from him, plenty of players have carried their IPL form to the national colours. He was striking well in the IPL, and before that the right-hander has planned a lot during the lockdown. The Gujarat-born batsman reckons that it is his role to finish the game, and is happy with his performance on Sunday. The third and last T20I is on Tuesday at the same venue.
“People have carried the confidence from IPL, I was batting well in the IPL and during the lockdown, I planned on how to finish the matches. I think I am in a very good zone and I am not getting overwhelmed with the situation, it is my job to finish the matches and I did it well tonight,” Hardik Pandya added.