The Gujarat Titans, who were the underdogs of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League, have lifted the trophy under the leadership of star Indian all-rounder, Hardik Pandya. It was their maiden IPL season and the Titans made sure that they were no minnows against any opposition.
They defeated one of the strongest sides in the whole competition, the Rajasthan Royals, to clinch the championship in their maiden season itself. In the battle between two future prospects in the form of their leaders, Hardik Pandya emerged victorious.
Skipper Hardik Pandya saved his best bowling performance for the finals and stood between his side and the opposition, posting a respectable total. The all-rounder came out with all guns blazing as he found out the hard length and started to continuously hit the good areas with the ball in hand.
He took 3/17 and his victims were Jos Butler, Sanju Samson, and Shimron Hetmyer, who were easily the backbone of the opposition side. He was at his absolute best with the ball in the finals, which later became the real difference between the two sides. His bowling performance and maturity with the bat were essential and it is the primary reason for the Titans successfully coming on top of Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets in the end.
Hardik Pandya became victorious and thereafter expressed his ambition to win the World Cup with the Indian squad. This season, the charismatic captain was recognized for his organizational abilities after winning his fifth IPL trophy, tying Rohit Sharma for second-most trophies who has six ones to his name.
“Absolutely to win the World Cup for India no matter what happens.” I am going to give it everything I have. I’ve always been the kind of guy to put the team first. For me, the goal will be simple: to make sure my team gets it the most, “Hardik said after the match.
Playing for India Is a Dream Come True: Hardik Pandya
Pandya was at the crease like a lone warrior during the heartwrenching defeat over Pakistan in the Champions Trophy 2017 final. He stood tall and scored an ample amount of runs for his national side when all other batters had absolutely no clue about the surface. Just when fans from all across the globe thought that India was tumbling against Pakistan, Pandya came as a soldier trying to put up a fight. The game was eventually won by Pakistan but no Indian fan would ever forget the way Hardik batted that day for India.
The all-rounder was also a core member of the squad that played in the 2019 ODI World Cup where India was knocked out in the semi-finals by Kiwis. Pandya expressed his joy and gratitude for representing his national side and he is therefore always obliged for the love and encouragement from the fans.
“Playing for India has always been a kind of dream come true, no matter how many games I have played. It has always been a pleasure for me to represent the country. The kind of love and support I have got is only from the Indian team’s point of view. Long term, short term, I want to win the World Cup no matter what happens,” he added.