Hardik Pandya gets into groove, speaks about team effort

Hardik Pandya and Mark Boucher at the press conference in Mumbai. Credits ( Ishaan Shahane)

Hardik Pandya, the Mumbai Indians captain, along with the team head coach Mark Boucher, shared their insights into the team’s aspirations for the upcoming IPL, at a press conference in Mumbai on Monday.

The return of Pandya to the Mumbai Indians has sent waves of excitement through the hearts of every supporter who roots for the franchise. For Pandya, it marks a homecoming, coupled with the added responsibility of captaincy. It will be interesting to see how he balances his on-field performances while leading the team from the front.

Taking over the mantle from Rohit Sharma, one of the IPL’s most successful captains, Pandya faces a significant challenge. However, given his successful stint with Gujarat Giants in previous two seasons, he is anticipated to excel in his new role.

Reflecting on his return, an emotional Pandya said: “It is a surreal feeling for me because everything started for me in the year 2015 with Mumbai Indians. Everything I know till now, from Day 1, is because of this team and the journey I was a part of. Knowing that my whole life changed since that year, is extraordinary. Now, with this new responsibility, I look forward to doing well for my side and leading well.”

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Boucher echoed Pandya’s sentiments, stating: “At the end of the day, it is always going to be a team effort. Having Hardik back in the scheme of things is fantastic, and I will look to support him in any way possible.”

Addressing concerns about his fitness and injury setbacks ahead of the IPL and the T20 World Cup, Pandya reassured the fans, emphasising the importance of listening to his body. He affirmed: “It is always crucial to bounce back from an injury and even more important to listen to your body. I will always look to give my best while listening to my body. I have always prioritised being 100 per cent fit before stepping onto a cricket field and I will stick by that, as otherwise, it will be unfair on my country or franchise.”

The Mumbai Indians franchise has a history of nurturing young talent who eventually blossom into cricketing superstars. Boucher emphasised the significance of these young players, expressing confidence in their abilities to make a difference, especially in the absence of some senior players due to injury. He remarked:  “The youngsters in our team are looking good and I believe they can perform brilliantly. I don’t want to give away too much at the moment, but I am content with the progress they have been making.”

The expectations to deliver will be extremely high for the Mumbai Indians and this is where they will have to maintain their cool. Pandya had a few words to share about the expectations as well where he mentioned: “The focus will be more on the preparation rather than the final outcome. I prefer controlling only the controllable and what I cannot anticipate I do not dwell on. It is important to take it day by day, rather than getting ahead of ourselves.”

For Mumbai Indians, it now falls upon the collective responsibility of the unit to unite once more and deliver their finest performances.

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