Hardik Pandya's father: Hardik did not rest even for a single day after IPL
It's Hardik Pandyas father Himanshu whom mid-day chatted with yesterday as he entered Old Trafford, Manchester for the India v New Zealand semi-final
Manchester: Before Team India embarked on their World Cup journey, Hardik Pandya had visions of doing something special to help the country regain the trophy.
The all-rounder is a vital cog in the Indian team and lends crucial balance to the side.
While Hardik hasn't been at his explosive best with the willow so far, barring the matches against Australia  and West Indies , it is his much-improved bowling that has helped skipper Virat Kohli play an extra batsman and add depth to the batting department.
Pandya's father Himanshu, who was here yesterday to cheer for his son and the Indian team during the semi-final against New Zealand at Old Trafford, said Hardik has worked hard on his bowling.
"He has practised very hard; taken a lot of effort. Since 2015, he was aiming to be a part of this World Cup. He wants to make every opportunity count now," Pandya Sr told mid-day while entering the ground.
During his suspension from the Indian team for his crass comments on a TV show, Hardik worked on honing his skills that would make him a complete all-rounder.
Even after playing a crucial role in Mumbai Indians's fourth IPL title, Hardik was on the field the next day to train for his career's biggest assignment — the World Cup.
"He did not rest even for a single day. He was into training straightaway. He has been totally committed to the World Cup cause after the IPL. His focus and preparation was always as per the World Cup," said Himanshu.
Seam-bowling all-rounder Hardik has performed the fifth bowler's role to perfection. In six matches, he has bowled his full 10 overs quota, which wasn't the case earlier. In nine matches, he has claimed 10 wickets and conceded 447 runs.
India's bowling coach Bharat Arun said it wasn't easy for Hardik to bowl his full quota of 10 overs.
"It was a big challenge for him to bowl those 10 overs. He realised that to be able to bowl those 10 overs, he needed to develop a certain armoury," Arun had said before the West Indies match last month.
"He has worked on his slower balls, his slower bouncers and on perfecting his bouncers," said Arun.
Himanshu is confident his son's efforts will not go unrewarded: "He has worked hard with sincerity. I am sure his efforts will bring success to him and most importantly, the Indian team."
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Hardik Pandya's dad, Monty Panesar watch India vs New Zealand semi final