'Will forever be grateful to...' - Hardik Pandya on his homecoming to Mumbai Indians

Hardik Pandya’s return to Mumbai Indians (MI) has been one of the major talking points in the previous three months.
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Talking to Star Sports, Hardik opened up about his journey with Mumbai Indians.

Hardik Pandya’s return to Mumbai Indians (MI) has been one of the major talking points in the previous three months. His historic trade from Gujarat Titans (GT) is the most significant deal in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Talking to Star Sports, Hardik Pandya opened up about his journey with Mumbai Indians. Pandya spoke about his special relationship with Mumbai, stating the city taught him different life lessons.

“Obviously, my cricketing journey started here in Mumbai, but at the same point in time, this city has also taught me about the growth in life. A Gujarat boy from Baroda didn’t know anything about life, and this city (Mumbai) taught me numerous things, like how to remain humble and never give up in life.”

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Iterating his point, Pandya added that Mumbai has showered so much affection on him. Pandya stated that he will be forever grateful for all the support, and his second stint with MI is a homecoming.

“This city has given so much love and, at the same time, learning, which anything can't take away from this place. I will forever be grateful to the people and this city as well. This place challenges you. Many are saying this is a new challenge - No, I was here before. I went away for two years, but it's homecoming now.”

Winning IPL 2015 was very special: Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya took a major leap in his cricketing journey when he made his IPL debut for Mumbai Indians in 2015. Pandya termed that season “special” and his “best year of life”.

“It (winning IPL 2015) was very special because I am sitting here due to this moment. Maybe if it didn’t happen, I wouldn’t have been here. I was fortunate enough to contribute on a much larger scale. My best memories were winning two Man of the Match awards in do-or-die situations. If I summarise, it was the best year of my life because my journey started from here. A boy who came with so many dreams from Gujarat found a way to take his dreams forward.”

Hardik Pandya scored 112 runs at an average of 22.40 and a whopping strike rate of 180.64 in eight IPL innings in 2015. He won the Player of the Match award against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for his quick-fire 21-run knock in eight balls and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for his match-winning 61 in 31 deliveries.

Hardik was pivotal in MI’s magnificent comeback after losing 5 of their first six matches in IPL 2015. Since then, he has only grown as a person and player.

While Hardik wasn’t part of the franchise for the last two years, he knows MI inside out. Pandya will be the leader of the pack in IPL 2024 and would want to take the legacy of Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians forward.

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