Hardik Himanshu Pandya (born 11 October 1993) is an Indian international cricketer who plays for Baroda in domestic cricket and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He is an all-rounder who bats right-handed and bowls right-arm fast-medium. His elder brother Krunal Pandya is also an international cricketer.
Hardik Pandya was born on 11 October 1993 in Surat, Gujarat. His father, Himanshu Pandya, ran a small car finance business in Surat which he shut down and shifted to Vadodara when Hardik was five; he did so in order to facilitate his sons with better cricket training facilities. He enrolled his two sons (Hardik and Krunal) into Kiran More's cricket academy in Vadodara. Financially weak, the Pandya family lived in a rented apartment in Gorwa, with the brothers using a second-hand car to travel to the cricket ground. Hardik studied at the MK High School until ninth grade before dropping out to focus on cricket.
Hardik made steady progress in junior-level cricket and, according to Krunal, "won a lot of matches single-handedly" in club cricket. In an interview with the Indian Express, Hardik revealed that he was dropped from his state age-group teams due to his "attitude problems." He added that he was "just an expressive child" who does not "like to hide his emotions."
According to his father, Hardik was a leg spinner until the age of 18 and turned to fast bowling at the insistence of the then Baroda coach Sanath Kumar.
Pandya has been playing for Baroda cricket team since 2013. He played a vital role in Baroda winning the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in the 2013–14 season.
In the 2015 season of the Indian Premier League, he scored a quick fire 21 runs off 8 balls and grabbed three important catches to help Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by six wickets and was awarded the man of the match. After the first qualifier against Chennai Super Kings, Sachin Tendulkar called over Hardik and told him that he will play for India in the next 18 months. Within one year he was chosen to play in the Indian squad during 2016 Asia Cup and 2016 ICC World Twenty20.
Later on against Kolkata Knight Riders, in a must-win situation for Mumbai Indians to remain in the race for the top 4 teams, he scored a quickfire 61 off 31 balls to win the match for his side and earn his second man of the match award in the season. He was also awarded the 'Yes Bank maximum sixes award' for the same match.
In January 2016, he slammed eight sixes during his innings unbeaten 86 to guide Baroda cricket team to a six-wicket win over Vidarbha cricket team in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Indian Premier League
In 2017, against RPS, it was the last over in Mumbai Indians’s innings batting first and Hardik Pandya smashed 30 runs in that one against bowler Ashok Dinda, making it a record, although later, Mumbai lost the match. In the 2018 IPL Player Auction, he was retained by the Mumbai Indians for Rs. 11 Crores. He had a decent league in that season, with his bowling more impressive than batting.
In the 2019 season, he dominated with his batting, and bowling equally. Playing 16 matches, he made 402 runs and took 14 wickets, averaging 44 and amassing 28 fours and 29 sixes totally in the season. He was the Super Striker of the Season of Mumbai Indians, with his strike rate over 170, but overall, just fell short of Andre Russell, who had a rate of 205. Against the Kolkata Knight Riders, in a target of 232 in 20 overs, Hardik made a quick fire 91 off just 34 balls expecting his team to get over the line, but that did not happen as MI fell short of 33 runs.
For his performances in the 2019 IPL season, he was named in the Cricinfo IPL XI
Pandya made his Twenty20 International debut for India on 27 January 2016 at the age of 22, picking up 2 wickets against Australia. His first Twenty20 International wicket was Chris Lynn. In the second T20I against Sri Lanka cricket team at Ranchi, he batted ahead of Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni and hit 27 off 14 balls before becoming hat-trick victim of Thisara Perera. In Asia Cup 2016, Pandya smashed an 18-ball 31 helping India post a respectable score against Bangladesh. Later on, he also picked up a wicket to secure the win. In the next match against Pakistan he bowled his best figures of 3 for 8 which restricted Pakistan to 83. In a 2016 World Twenty20 match against Bangladesh on 23 March, Pandya took two crucial wickets in the last three balls of match's final over as India beat Bangladesh by one run. His career best bowling figures of 4 for 38 was achieved in the 3rd and final Twenty20 International against England on July 8, 2018, he got 33 Not Out in 14 balls, hitting the winning runs with a six off Jordan. Hardik became first Indian to take 4 wickets and score above 30 runs in a T20I in the same match.
Pandya made his One Day International (ODI) debut for India against New Zealand on 16 October 2016 at Dharamshala. He became the fourth Indian to be named player of the match on ODI debut after Sandeep Patil, Mohit Sharma and K. L. Rahul. In his first ODI innings as a batsman, he scored 36 runs from 32 balls. In the group stages of ICC Champions Trophy, Pandya hit three consecutive sixes off Imad Wasim in the same over before rain stopped play. On 18 June 2017, in the final of the Champions Trophy at the Oval, he struck a 43-ball 76 in a losing cause, after coming in with India at 54/5 following a top order collapse.
He was selected in the ODI XI of the year 2017 by Cricinfo.
In April 2019, he was named in India's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. On 27 June 2019, in the match against the West Indies, Pandya played in his 50th ODI.
Pandya was included in India's Test squad as a batsman for their home series against England in late 2016, but was eventually left out after he injured himself while training in the nets at the PCA Stadium. He was named in the squad that toured Sri Lanka in July 2017 and played his first Test on 26 July in Galle. In the 3rd and the final Test match against Sri Lanka at Pallekele, Pandya scored his maiden Test century, and set the record for becoming the first Indian batsman to score a Test century just before lunch. He also set the record for scoring the most runs in a single over of a Test innings for India, scoring 26 runs. This century was his first century in international cricket.
Pandya got engaged to an Indian based Serbian dancer and actress Nataša Stanković on 1 January 2020. They announced their wedding in May 2020 and pregnancy during lockdown.
In January 2019, Pandya made controversial comments about his promiscuous sexual lifestyle, avowedly condoned by his parents, on the show Koffee with Karan, which was immediately met with public backlash. During the interview, Pandya told the host of the show that he proudly informed his parents about his first sexual encounter, which was received well by his parents. He also proclaimed that he likes to "observe how women move" at high-end bars and nightclubs as well as on social media and then going on to liken himself to a black person saying, "I'm a little from the black side so I need to see how they move". The public categorized his monologue as indecent, derogatory, misogynistic and disgraceful. Pandya apologized for his remarks by saying that he had got carried away by the nature of the show. He appeared on the show along with his teammate K. L. Rahul. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) responded to the controversy by saying, "It will be considered whether players should even be allowed to appear on such shows which have got nothing to do with cricket." The BCCI found the comments as very crass, sexist and cringeworthy, and was not impressed by the apology, seeking appropriate legal action into the matter as it was a breach of conduct. Both Pandya and Rahul were handed a suspension until a pending investigation and were called back from the ongoing tours of Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore, on 13 January 2019, Gillette suspended their brand association with Pandya for its product Gillette Mach3. On 24 January 2019, after lifting the suspension on Pandya and Rahul, the BCCI announced that Pandya would re-join the squad for the matches in New Zealand.