Former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes praises Hardik Pandya
Former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes praised Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya on his successful play for Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Hardik finished with a strike rate of 190 above and he ended up with 14 wickets besides scoring 400-plus runs in 16 matches for IPL.
This comes after Hardik’s unfortunate injuries in 2018 that caused him to miss home series against Australia and be carried off with a stretcher during a clash with Pakistan from the Asia Cup last September. Not only that but he had a “Koffee With Karan” controversy in the same year that led him to get temporarily suspended.
Rhodes admitted that he was worried about Hardik’s focus level because of recent events. However, Hardik proved him wrong by successfully delivering in IPL.
“As a fielding coach, I was worried about Hardik’s focus. He came across as someone who would take a selfie with a guy or a girl in the stands. Or someone who is worried about his hat or hair. When the crowd gets going, it’s hard to keep your mind in the game sometimes.”
Rhodes praised Hardik on his “enormous hunger” to be successful in cricket when he delivered in the T20 IPL. Furthermore, he extended his praise when he told the story of how well Hardik handled the situation when he was dropped from Mumbai Indians in favour of his brother Krunal.
“He is a player with enormous hunger. I remember when his brother Krunal burst into the scene, Hardik got dropped. I told him that this was going to be his biggest test. It’s not about bowling a superb bouncer or hitting sixes to finish off games. I told him ‘If you can bounce back after your brother has taken your place in the side, especially since you are seen as the rockstar of Mumbai Indians, then nothing like it’. He handled the phase really well,” said Rhodes in an interview for Deccan Herald.
The Men in Blue team begins their World Cup campaign on June 5 against South Africa.