Coming into the 2019 World Cup after playing a crucial role in Mumbai India’s title triumph in the 12th edition of IPL, Hardik Pandya scored a total of 402 runs at a strike rate of over 191 and picking 14 wickets. He also had a good outing against New Zealand in the ODI series, before missing the home series against Australia. This was enough for Yuvraj Singh to label him the player with X-Factor for Team India.
Hardik Pandya has been one of the most exciting talents in world cricket ever since making his debut in 2016 and has done amazingly well in all the three formats of the game. “It’s important that Rohit [Sharma] and Virat [Kohli]… Either of them has a good tournament. But I think the X-factor in this World Cup is going to be Hardik [Pandya],” Yuvraj Singh was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
He’s currently on form and batting well
Hardik Pandya’s amazing knock against Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in the finals is worth remembering. He had a very satisfying tournament in terms of his first appearance in a tournament in England.
“He’s currently on form and batting well. And is someone who’s very helpful with the ball. In those conditions, if we play two fast bowlers and two spinners, you have Hardik as your third seamer. It gives the right balance to the team. [In] the last 10 overs, Hardik is going to be very important. But it’s up to him to adapt from Twenty20 to 50 overs. And it depends on how we use him.” Yuvraj Singh added.
The Indian team didn’t have the best of the starts in the ICC World Cup 2019 warm-up matches as Virat Kohli’s idea of challenging the team by batting first in overcast conditions against New Zealand in the first match backfired to a 6-wicket defeat.
As the Indian top order collapsed, with Kohli making 8, Rohit & Dhawan contributing only 2 runs apiece and Rahul with 4 runs; Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja proved to be the saviors as the all-rounders made 30 and 54 respectively. Hardik looked comfortable and hit 6 fours in his innings, while Jadeja hammered six fours and two sixes in his quick-fire half-ton.