Team India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has recently opened up on his comeback to international cricket after recovering from a back injury which kept him away from the game for a long time in the last couple of years. However, Hardik had sustained an injury in 2019, and after that, he couldn't be at full fitness, especially with his bowling.
Team India backed him for his batting abilities, but then he decided to take a short break to get back in action after the 2021 T20 World Cup. However, he recently led Gujarat Titans to the IPL title win on their maiden appearance in the cash-rich league after being appointed skipper of the new franchise.
He led from the front with both the bat and the ball and was rewarded with a place on the Indian Team for the ongoing South Africa series.
While talking about his comeback with Gujarat Titans, Pandya said that a lot of things were at stake before the comeback, and he was happier to win the battle against himself as well.
"Emotional-wise, I was pretty alright. Obviously, I was happy, but for me, it was more about the battle which I won against myself and kind of other things as well. Even qualifying was a big deal for me because a lot of people doubted us before we started. A lot of things were said to me before I made a comeback. For me, it was never about giving them answers, but I was just proud of the process that I followed," Hardik told Star Sports.
Hardik Pandya further shared his sacrifices before the IPL to regain full fitness by following a strong and disciplined training process.
"I've gotten up at 5 am in the morning to make sure I train and then make sure that the second time I train at 4 pm and give myself enough rest. I slept almost those four months at 9:30 pm. A lot of sacrifices were made, but for me, it was the battle which I fought before playing the IPL. After seeing the result, it was more satisfying for me, as a cricketer," he further added.
However, Pandya is excited to play in the blue again as he wants to display how hard he has worked during the short time period as well.
He stated, "I am obviously very excited. Playing for the country has always been special. Coming after such a long break and coming back fresh gives me the opportunity to kind of show what exactly I've worked hard for. Doing well for the country is more important, and it gives me immense pleasure,"
However, Pandya also feels that the South Africa series will be the perfect stage for him before World Cup. He is looking forward to playing the finisher's role again for the Indian team in the all-important marquee event.
"Every series or every game you play is as important as your last. For me, World Cup is the goal, but this is the right platform to prepare for it. Cricket is going to come back to back, so you always need to be in the rhythm,"
"This series is a great opportunity for me to express myself. My roles will be changed, and I won't be the captain or batting higher up the order. This will be back to what Hardik has been known for," he concluded.