Watch: Hardik's emotional celebration with wife Natasa breaks the internet – Hindustan Times

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A fitter, stronger, matured and improved Hardik Pandya was the main ingredient in Gujarat Titans’ lip-smacking delicacies served in IPL 2022. Hardik did not show a lot of emotion in the entire tournament. When he did – which was very rare – it was mostly directed towards himself. Such was Hardik’s composure that he did not scream, jump or run into the field when Shubman Gill hit the winning six off Obed McCoy to give GT their maiden IPL title in their very first attempt. All the GT captain did was smile. When Hardik slowly made his way into the playing area after exchanging pleasantries with his teammates in the dugout, the first thing he did was hug his wife Natasa Stankovic, who seemed emotional.
The long emotional hug and the broad smiles said a lot. It takes a lot to win a tournament like IPL and that too in your first season. But for Hardik, it perhaps took more. He was out of the Indian side, there were more questions than answers about his bowling fitness, nobody knew how he would fare as a captain and after a little more than two months, he answered it all in some style.
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That hug with wife Natasa was perhaps the culmination of all those emotions that must have been going through the all-rounder for a long time. Hardik after all had credited his wife and son for his calm demeanour throughout the tournament.
There could not have been a better end to this Hardik Pandya 2.0. He emerged as the Player of the Match for picking up RR’s three biggest wickets in Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmyer to restrict them to a paltry total of 130 for 9 and then when his side was in a spot of bother at 23 for 2 in the chase, he dug deep to forge a match-winning 64-run stand with Shubman Gill. Hardik scored 34 off 30 balls. GT won the match with 7 wickets and 11 balls to spare.
“Wanted to show at the right time what I’ve worked hard for. Today was the day from the bowling point of view I saved the best for the best,” Hardik said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
“For me my team is the most important. I’ve always been that kind of individual. If I were to have a worse season and my team wins, I’ll take that. Batting comes first to me, always going to be close to my heart. When we got the auction done it was clear I had to bat higher to guide,” he added.
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