“He’s different,” said Yuvraj Singh talking of Hardik Pandya. And therefore “He’s far more dangerous” than those above him in the Indian batting line-up. Hardik, who in his short international career spanning 3 years has had to deal more with behavioural, moral and language lessons than cricketing tutorials, celebrates his 26th birthday. Born in the Choryasi village of Surat in Gujarat on October 11, 1993, Hardik made his senior India debut in January, 2016, a year after mesmerising the Indian Premier League (IPL) crowd with some fiery innings for Mumbai Indians. He’s tailor-made for the Twenty20 cricket, said India coach Ravi Shastri after Hardik was drafted into the Indian team for the T20I s against Australia.
Two years later, a young Pandya would dash his way to a maiden fifty against Sri Lanka in his debut Test match at Galle. Four of his five 50-plus scores in Test cricket – including the century against Sri Lanka – have come on foreign soil. That doesn’t make him weak at home conditions and three ODI half-centuries in India is a testament to that. Again treating him as a proper batsman is an understatement to the cricketer’s abilities. Pandya took a three-fer and a maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket against England last year and also holds the credit for bowling the final over against Bangladesh in the 2016 T20I World Cup quarter-finals. As Pandya turns 26, take a look at some unknown things about him.
- Hardik Pandya was born on October 11, 1993, in the village of Choryasi in Surat, Gujarat.
- Hardik Pandya’s father Himanshu Pandya ran a small motor finance business in Surat but shut it down to shift to Vadodara in order to help his sons (Hardi and Krunal Pandya) pursue their cricket dreams.
- Hardik and Krunal – at 5 and 7 years of age – were rejected by Kiran More from getting admitted in his cricket academy in Vadodara for being underaged. The Kiran More only accepted children over the age of 12. But their father had blind faith in his sons’ cricket skills and convinced More to test both the brothers.
- Kiran More, former Indian wicket-keeper, changed his decision and not only admitted the Pandya brothers but also changed the rules of his cricket academy and opened the academy for kids of all age.
- Hardik Pandya initially started his cricket career as a leg spinner but later shifted to medium pace after being insisted by mentor Kiran More during a local league match. Pandya was asked to bowl with pace after his academy team was left short of a fast bowler. He never turned to spin after that.
- Hardik Pandya is nick-named the “Rockstar” in IPL franchise Mumbai Indians set-up because of his flamboyancy and extravagant lifestyle.
- Interestingly, Kiran More referred to the Pandya brothers as the “Maggi Brothers”. This was, as told by Hardik Pandya, because they ate Maggi to meet their hunger and fill their tummy during their struggling days.
- During a domestic match for the West Zone against Delhi Hardik Pandya smashed 39 runs in a single over. In the over bowled by Delhi’s Akash Sudan, Pandya smashed 5 sixes and 1 four. The over had seven deliveries, including a front-foot No ball. The incident occurred in the 2016 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.