New Delhi: Two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) winners Mumbai Indians are on a roll in the tenth edition of the tournament. One of the most balanced sides in the competition, Rohit Sharma and his men are currently ranked at the top of the points table with five wins from six matches.
While Nitish Rana has been the standout peformer for the team this season, Hardik Pandya has also provided a lot of stability to the squad with his all-round skills. What many haven't noticed, is that Pandya is the only batsman in the tournament who has batted in all the matches and is yet to be dismissed.
In the six matches Mumbai have played so far, Hardik has produced scores of 35*, 29*, 2*, 9*, 6* and 15*. The interesting part is that these knocks have come at different positions.
In Mumbai's last match against Kings XI Punjab, when the visitors lost the wicket of Jos Buttler in the 14th over of the innings, many were surprised when Rohit sent Hardik ahead of him. But Pandya didn't let his captain down and finished the job yet again for his team.
Pandya's most crucial knock came against Kolkata Knight Riders in Mumbai's second match, when they needed 60 runs to win off last 24 balls. Pandya held his nerve and guided the team to a thrilling finish. The 23-year-old also has three wickets under his belt.
While Pandya was a known name in the Indian domestic circuit, the turning point of his career came during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015, where Mumbai Indians mentor Ricky Ponting turned him into a match-winner by dedicating plenty of time to him.
Pandya has also shown a lot of improvement in the last six months, where he has not only worked upon his fitness, but has also added more pace to his bowling.