Hardik Pandya has been named as India’s specialized all-rounder for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, which will begin on October 17 in Oman and the United Arab Emirates. He is also the squad’s only seam-bowling all-rounder, making him one of the team’s most important batting and bowling components.
However, when asked how he became an all-rounder on the squad, youngster Pandya replied it was by “pure luck.” It is generally known that Pandya did not come from a rich household, and purchasing costly shoes was a difficult job at the time. However when he was 19, his life transformed, and he hasn’t looked back since. Because of Pandya’s bowling, the management now has the choice of playing a specialist batter or bowler in the side.
He adds an element of balance to the squad, and junior Pandya believes the change occurred throughout his teenage. “I became an all-rounder by chance. It was pure luck. The transition took place when I was 19. Before I played for India, I had bowled for probably one year only,” he said in an Interaction.
“When I started bowling, I was helping out my U19 bowlers because they were tired by bowling so much. I was a batsman who used to bat at No.3. I used to borrow their shoes also because I didn’t have fast-bowling shoes.”
I borrowed someone’s shoes and got a five-wicket haul in that game: Hardik Pandya
The pitch had a touch of grass and was primarily favoring fast bowlers during an Under-19 practice match while Pandya was participating for Kiran More Academy. There were no quick bowlers on the team at the time who may have challenged the batsmen. Pandya saw an opening and took advantage of it by borrowing someone’s shoes and taking a five-wicket haul. He feels he became an all-rounder through pure luck.
“Sharath Kumar sir was watching our U19 practice from some 200 meters away. The next day he came to watch our local game, where I played for Kiran More Academy. It was a green top and no fast bowler was available. I borrowed someone’s shoes and got a five-for in that game. That’s why I say it’s luck by chance. Sharath sir then took me a month in the Ranji Trophy squad. Before that, I didn’t bowl.”
The all-rounder’s next appearance will be with the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which begins on 19th September.