“It was just cramps, nothing else,” that is how Hardik Pandya cleared the air after taking himself off the attack in the 18th over following a match-winning knock against Rajasthan Royals in the IPL on Thursday. The injury-prone cricketer has been doing well in all departments in his comeback tournament. He gave his fans a lot to worry about as he walked back into the dugout in the middle of his third over.
Hardik, who scored 87 not out off 52 balls, himself allayed fears over his fitness at the post-match presentation.
“A lot of hard work for me tonight. It was just cramps, nothing serious,” he said.
It was a second consecutive fifty plus score for the all-rounder who is aiming to make a national comeback. He is batting higher up the order at number four, allowing him more time to pace his innings.
“I am not used to batting this long. It gives me a lot of time. I can calculate and take risk. The last game it did not come off but today I made sure I did. I have been in this situation where I have taken the role of scoring 12-ball 30. It is difficult but now at four I can control the game,” said Hardik.
On the leadership responsibility, he added: “Captaincy is fun and it allows me to take responsibility and be the flag-bearer. The group carries one another. My motto was I wanted everyone to be happy.”
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