The IPL Twenty20 competition is a different ball game from turning up for India duties. Performances in the most popular league may be put down as a flash in the pan but, Hardik Pandya, not long back known for his bling fetish, has refreshingly improved his excellent run of form in the TATA IPL-15; as a batter, bowler, fielder and now, as captain. Hardik’s makeover was applauded by his former Mumbai Indians icon Sachin Tendulkar on his Youtube show #SachInsightT20. “It has to be celebrated, Hardik has been a stand-out as a Number 4 batter and captain. He has outsmarted the opposition,” said the former master blaster. Hardik was the Titans’ highest run getter with 487 runs and chief wicket-taker in the title match. What’s so significant about these numbers is the manner in which he exhibited his gifts all through the tournament. In the final he broke the back of Rajasthan Royals taking 3 for 18 and chipping in with a weighty 34 runs with his bat. Hardik is being dubbed as a hero now, but his true test will come up against a strong South African Twenty20 team that will lock horns with KL Rahul’s team from June 9 in five matches. Hardik is a genuine talent though. The Indian team would hope that his lower back doesn’t flare up again!