When one thinks of Hardik Pandya, they cannot erase the image of him sitting on a couch opposite Karan Johar and saying the most despicable words coming out of a man’s mouth for a woman. As the world sat shocked, his couch-partner KL Rahul egged him on sniggering, and the brainless Karan Johar feigned shock. He, however, didn’t stop Hardik Pandya’s rant. In fact, to gain more footage, he giggled and chuckled at every word that came out of the arrogant cricketer’s mouth. This showed the class and mentality of all three men sitting on that couch that day. Even though there was much hue and cry with the show getting taken off air and the cricketers suspended from playing international cricket, Hardik Pandya Captaincy showed no signs of genuine improvement.
From that day onwards, everything he does on field, off field, in interviews or in press conferences appears as a show for cleaning up his image. He often utters cringeworthy words like – My name sells, those who write about me, earn through me – simply shows that he is too proud to be connected to reality anymore.
Hardik Pandya Behavioural Issues
Even though Hardik Pandya was out of the team due to injury, his attitude does not seem to have improved. Even the great Yuvraj Singh and the King Virat Kohli learnt through time that arrogance and show off isn’t the way to earn respect and recognition. Hardik Pandya’s flamboyance, along with his arrogance seems to have gone a couple of degrees higher after being made the captain of the T20 Mens Cricket Team.
In recent matches, where Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have been given directions to focus on the ODI World Cup this year in India, Hardik Pandya has been leading the T20 Team with Surya Kumar Yadav as his vice-captain. In order to show a cool and a nonchalant persona, Hardik always has a fake smile plastered all over his face. Whatever may be the match situation, he seems camera focussed and gives reactions which are tailor-made for the public. Nothing about him seems natural or free flowing.
Hardik Pandya’s gestures and antics have not gone unnoticed. The cricket pundits, who were once supporting him, have already started to whisper about fame and one IPL title going to his head. Hardik comes to the press conferences and talks to reporters as if they are a bunch of idiots sitting there. He comes at the toss and says things about the pitch and playing conditions which don’t make any sense. The team selection done by Hardik and the Coach are reprehensible. His decisions on field leave people gaping at each other. Hardik has been lucky that he has not seen too many losses under his captaincy because he has match winners like Surya Kumar Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav who are constantly bailing him out of tough situations.
The Recent T20 in Lucknow
In the 2nd T20 match between India and New Zealand – It was a spin-friendly wicket in Lucknow that made part timers like Glenn Phillips look like Shane Warne. The Kiwis gauged the conditions early and bowled 17 overs of spin. It was a pitch where any skipper would have allowed his spinners to bow their complete quota of overs. But the Indian captain Hardik Pandya did the exact opposite. The best Spinners in the Indian team – Chahal and Sundar did not even complete their full quota of overs.
India’s most economical bowler on the night, Yuzvendra Chahal, despite giving only four runs and picking up a wicket, didn’t complete his four overs. The most effective Indian spinner was the least-used spinner in the match. The leggie was taken off the attack after just two overs, and was not bought back.
Hardik Pandya Captaincy stint saw pitch curators being fired from their job after Team India avoided a humiliating loss in Lucknow. But even before the match began, he knew very well that the pitch would be helpful to the spinners. That is the reason why the team management decided to play one extra spinner in Chahal, leaving out pacer Umran Malik.
The Magic of Yuzi Chahal
Yuzi Chahal didn’t take long to show why he is regarded as one of the best wrist spinners in the world. In his very first over, Chahal got Finn Allen’s wicket with a great delivery.
Despite such a superb start, Hardik Pandya removed Chahal from the attack and never brought him back for another spell. Instead of allowing his front-line spinner to complete his quota on a spin-friendly wicket, Hardik Pandya bowled four overs himself.
This was the time for him to take a back seat and let his spinners do their magic. Instead, he chose to bowl himself for the second game running. It was as if he wanted to show the whole world that he was the boss.
Hardik Pandya Captaincy – Bowling the First Over of the Innings
Captaining the Indian team in Rohit Sharma’s absence, Hardik Pandya has opened the attack with the new ball in most matches. This is an act of complete selfishness. Instead of giving the new ball to a specialist bowler, Pandya grabs on to the ball himself. He has started to consider himself bigger than the game or anyone running it. He feels that as a captain it is his birth right to juggle with the Playing 11 and rotate the bowlers as per his wishes and not the team’s situation.
Many a times it has been seen that when Hardik is taken to the cleaners by the opening batsmen, he does not return to complete his opening spell. As soon as a wicket falls, and he knows that the new batsman will take time to settle, he gets himself on in order to improve his bowling figures. If Hardik Pandya thinks that such lowly tactics will go unnoticed by the people watching the game, then he is highly mistaken. Not only do people take note, but they remember as well.
Dip in Batting Form
The recent few months have also seen a dip in Hardik Pandya’s batting form. He scores at a run a ball irrespective of the team’s situation. He does not accelerate at any point of time and puts the onus on the other batsman to take the risk. Hardik starts to play the anchor role coming despite coming in at Number 6 to bat. Hardik was inducted into the team as a finisher as he has the ability to hit it clean and long.
He takes on spinners and sends them packing outside the ground. His shoulder and arm strength literally defined him earlier. But now on, he seems more focused on bowling rather than finishing games for India. He seems to have understood that in order to cement your place in the team as an all-rounder, your bowling needs to be fruitful. Your batting can let you down once in a while, because there are other high-class batsmen in the Indian team who carry the burden.
Self-obsession Leads to Doom
Hardik Pandya Captaincy decisions only reflect how self-obsessed he is. Hardik Pandya wants to stamp his authority on the team and the country, but not in a good way. Right now, people might not realize it but if he continues on the same path, they will soon start having an issue with him giving himself the utmost priority over his teammates or the team’s cause. The reigns of Indian Cricket, in any format, being in the hands of such a fickle person will only spell doom in the long run.