Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya hitting his stride ahead of the Cricket World Cup

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya is dreaming of a strong World Cup after flourishing with confidence in the IPL.

The 25-year-old has starred with the bat for Mumbai Indians, who have emerged as title contenders, having averaged 46.50 for the side led by Rohit Sharma.

“It’s pretty important to have confidence, the World Cup is a big stage and this is the first time I’m playing,” he told reporters.

“I was out of the game for some time. Everyone has setbacks and I wanted to improve, I got some time for my body as well. The time I spent out (of the game) is helping me right now because I’m in a good mind space.”

Pandya was part of the India team which lost the Champions Trophy hosted in England in 2017. A tournament which the seamer says offered more of a opportunity for batsmen to shine more so than bowlers.

“The last time we went to England a lot of people said it would be cold with swinging conditions but when we went there. I’ve never played on flat wickets like that before,” Pandya added.

“Depending on the conditions, and if we have the same situation like we did in the Champions Trophy, then it will be helpful.”

Pandya’s unbeaten 37 guided Mumbai to victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday, receiving praise from Sharma for his exploits with the bat so far.

“His (Hardik’s) hitting has been helping the team and him as well to move forward. This is something he wanted to do because he didn’t have a lot of time before coming to the IPL,” Rohit said after Monday’s match.

“So he wanted to prove a point with bat and ball, to himself more than anyone else. The way he is hitting it gives us confidence as a team that there is someone who can hit that well at the end and win crucial games.”

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