Hardik Pandya celebrates his 30th Birthday
On October 11, Team India’s vice captain and one of the finest all-rounders in the current generation, Hardik Himanshu Pandya, marks his 30th birthday. Born in Surat, Gujarat, on October 11, 1993, Pandya’s cricketing journey has been nothing short of spectacular.
Pandya’s introduction to the world of cricket happened in Baroda, where he grew up. In 2017, a Times of India report revealed that his father, Himanshu Pandya, worked as a loan agent in Vadodara. Hardik attended MK High School until the ninth grade, but his passion for cricket led him to drop out and focus on the sport. Off the field, Pandya is married to Serbian dancer, model, and actress Natasa Stankovic, known for her role in the film “Satyagraha.” The couple is proud parents to their child, Agastya Pandya.
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Hardik Pandya embarked on his domestic cricket career with the Baroda cricket team back in 2013. He played a pivotal role in helping Baroda secure the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in the 2013-14 season, taking 10 crucial wickets and guiding his team to the finals.
His breakthrough moment came during the 2015 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, when he delivered a stellar performance for the Mumbai Indians against the Kolkata Knight Riders. This remarkable showing earned him a place on India’s tour to Australia for the T20Is. Hardik‘s international career officially began in 2016 when he was called up for a limited-overs tour to Australia. He further impressed on seamer-friendly pitches in Bangladesh during the Asia Cup.
Over the years, Hardik Pandya has been a significant asset to the Indian cricket team. In 2022, ahead of the IPL auction, the Mumbai Indians released him, and he was subsequently bought by the new Ahmedabad franchise, the Gujarat Titans, where he was appointed as the captain.
In the One Day Internationals (ODIs), Hardik made his debut against New Zealand on October 16, 2016, in Dharamshala, where he scored 36 runs from 32 balls. He has continued to excel in ODIs, accumulating 1796 runs and securing 80 wickets in his 83 appearances.
The Test cricket arena also witnessed the brilliance of Hardik Pandya when he made his debut against Sri Lanka in Galle in July 2017. In the third and final Test match against Sri Lanka at Pallekele, he marked his name in the record books by scoring his first Test century. With 11 Test matches under his belt, he boasts a batting average of 31.29 and a bowling average of 31.05.
Off the field, here are some interesting tidbits about Hardik Pandya:
- Favorite Movie: “The Pursuit of Happyness“
- Favorite Song/Artist: “Particular” by Major Lazer
- Favorite (non-cricket) Team: Manchester United
- Favorite Holiday Destination: London, United Kingdom
Hardik Pandya‘s Impact in the Indian Premier League (IPL)
- He made his IPL debut in 2015 and has played a total of 123 matches with an average of 30.38 and a strike rate of 145.86.
- In the IPL, Hardik has notched up 10 half-centuries and played several match-winning innings, with his best score being 91 runs.
- His bowling skills in the IPL have been equally impressive, with an average of 33.26 and an economy rate of 8.80, having taken 53 wickets. His best bowling performance in the IPL is 3 wickets for 17 runs.
- Hardik Pandya has been part of the championship-winning team in the IPL five times, with four titles won with the Mumbai Indians and one with the Gujarat Titans, where he served as captain.
- He has captained in the IPL on two occasions, leading the Gujarat Titans to the final both times.
Hardik Pandya‘s Remarkable International Cricket Career
- Hardik made his debut for the Indian cricket team on January 26, 2016, in a T20I against Australia in Adelaide.
- In T20Is, he has played 92 matches with a strike rate of 139.83 and an average of 25.43, scoring 1348 runs.
- In One Day Internationals, he has featured in 83 matches, amassing 1769 runs at an average of 34.01 and a strike rate of 110.35.
- In Test cricket, Hardik Pandya has played 11 matches, accumulating 532 runs at an average of 31.29. His highest score is an unbeaten 108.
One remarkable feat worth noting is that Hardik Pandya became the first Indian batsman to score a century in a Test match before lunch. His contribution as a bowler in international cricket includes 73 wickets in T20Is, 80 wickets in ODIs, and 17 wickets in Tests.
Hardik Pandya‘s all-round abilities make him a vital player for the Indian cricket team. His performances with the bat, ball, and in the field make him a rare and crucial asset in limited-overs cricket. As Hardik Pandya celebrates his 30th birthday, fans are eagerly awaiting his performance in the upcoming World Cup match against Afghanistan, hoping for a memorable celebration of his special day. Happy 30th Birthday, Hardik Pandya!