India's fast-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya has become the youngest cricketer in the world to reach 25 million followers on Instagram. Interestingly, Hardik has more Instagram followers than some of the global stars like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Max Verstappen and Erling Haaland.
"Thank you to all my fans for the love. Each one of my fans is special to me and I would like to thank them for the love and support they have given me over all these years," said Hardik while expressing his gratitude for his fans for his huge social media following.
Hardik has been a household entity as a cricketer since his international debut in 2016. At 29, he is a senior member in the Indian team's white-ball setup as well as in the IPL. On the cricketing front, Hardik hasn't featured in Tests since 2018 and is not a part of the Indian team currently playing against Australia for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
After recovering from a career-threatening back injury, Hardik has been a vital cog in India's limited-overs set-up since June 2022. The big-hitting right-handed batter had captained India in its home T20I series wins over Sri Lanka and New Zealand earlier this year. He will be seen in action next in the ODI series against Australia, which starts on March 17 in Mumbai.
In the ODIs against Australia, Hardik will act as Rohit Sharma's deputy in series and will captain India in the ODI against Mumbai with the latter unavailable due to personal reasons.
After the conclusion of the series, Hardik will captain Gujarat Titans in their IPL title defence in the 2023 season. IPL 2023 starts on March 31 when Hardik-led Gujarat will be facing four-time winners Chennai Super Kings at their home ground, Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.