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Flamboyant all-rounder Hardik Pandya was out of the Indian cricket for almost six months, owing to a back injury and a suspension he got from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for his comments on a chat show.
However, Hardik utilised that time to work on his fitness and game -- a fact evident in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) where he has played some brilliant innings and helped Mumbai Indians (MI) win the matches.
In the nine matches played so far, the 25-year-old has scored 218 runs at a strike rate of 194.64 and has also picked up eight wickets.
On Thursday, Hardik played yet another cameo of 15-ball 32 to help Mumbai reach 168/5 which ultimately turned out to be a match-winning total against Delhi Capitals at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Chasing 169, Delhi could only manage 128/9 and suffered a 40-run defeat at their home ground.
"It was a very tricky wicket. The way Hardik batted, he scored at a strike-rate of almost 200. That changed the momentum for us. I think we ended up with almost 20-30 more runs than we had thought of," said Hardik's borther Krunal after the match.
Krunal also said Hardik always puts in a lot of effort to constantly improve his game and his work ethics are second to none.
"When Hardik was out of the game because of injury and the (suspension) that happened, he utilised that time to work on his fitness," said Krunal. "He is the kind of player for whom cricket is a priority, no matter what. His work ethics are second to none. He puts in a lot of hard work."
Crediting Hardik's self-belief, he added, "His goal has always been to improve his game. If you improve, you become consistent.
"Every year if you see, he keeps on adding something to his game. He has a lot of self-belief ... I learn a lot of things from him. How to back yourself no matter how much you are struggling or doubtful, I learnt from him. He has that quality to always see the positive side," he further said.
Hardik is a part of the 15-member squad travelling to England for the upcoming World Cup and many, including India skipper Virat Kohli, believe that he will have a crucial role to play in the showpiece event if the Men in Blue are to win the coveted trophy.