“Absolutely to win the World Cup for India no matter what,” Hardik said. “I’m going to give it my all. I’ve always been that kind of guy, putting the team first. For me, the goal will be simple: make my team get the most out of it.
“Playing for India has always been kind of a dream come true no matter how many games I’ve played. It’s always been a pleasure for me to represent the country. The kind of love and support that I have, it’s only Indian from the team point of view. Long term, short term, I want to win the World Cup no matter what.”
In the IPL, however, Hardik has won every time he reached the playoffs, four times with Mumbai Indians and now with Gujarat Titans. When asked if it was a bit special, Hardik said yes, but fair.
“Obviously it will be a bit special because I won it as captain,” he said. “The four I have won before that are also special. Winning the IPL is always special. I consider myself very lucky to have made five finals and lifted the trophy five times. Obviously it will leave a legacy because We’re a new franchise, playing for the first time, and we were champions in season one, but the four I won before that were just as special.
“Specifically, we both have [Nehra and he] lean towards the bowlers,” Hardik said. “People say T20 is a batting game, but I’ve always argued that bowlers win you games. Because if the batters aren’t getting a normal score, if you have a pistol bowling lineup, the bowlers can roll things back. We always gave ten runs less [than par]. Even when others conceded 190, we put ten less. These ten races make you win or lose matches overall.
“For me and Ashu Pennsylvania [Nehra], when we started, we wanted to create a solid and experienced bowling unit. So even if there are times when the batters don’t click, you can retire with the bowling.”