Mumbai, Apr 16: Hardik Pandya once again proved he's loving the finisher's role for his team Mumbai Indians in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019.
In the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Hardik bludgeoned 21 runs in a single over from Pawan Negi and took his team home with six balls to spare.
His unbeaten knock of 16-ball 37 made the run chase look ridiculously easy for Mumbai Indians. The flamboyant Baroda all-rounder's good run in the IPL gives a major shot in the arm to Indian cricket team's World Cup preparations.
Bowlers would be wary of his batting exploits in the World Cup as well if the right-handed batsman carries his form in the World Cup.
His IPL teammate from Sri Lanka Lasith Malinga too said that he would be scared to bowl to the 25-year-old cricketer in the World Cup.
"I am very scared to bowl to him at the World Cup. If I play the World Cup against him, I will be really scared to bowl to him because we know he is in really good touch now," Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga told MI TV after the match against RCB. Malinga was awarded the man of the match for his 4/31 in the game played at Wankhede Stadium.
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma also praised Pandya for his phenomenal form and said the all-rounder has been driven by a desire "prove a point to himself", more than anyone else.
The all-rounder is averaging a healthy 46.50 and has a strike rate of over 190 in the eight matches he has played this season.
"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."