Team India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has stated that simple advice from former captain MS Dhoni has helped him immensely in his journey as a cricketer. Hardik said that Dhoni told him to stop thinking about personal goals and put the team first.
The 28-year-old cricketer has carried on his excellent form from IPL 2022 into the ongoing T20I series against South Africa. On Friday, he scored a crucial 46 off 31 and featured in a fifth-wicket stand of 65 with Dinesh Karthik (55 off 27). The partnership bailed India out of trouble after they stumbled to 81 for four while batting first after losing the toss.
In an interaction with Karthik on bcci.tv, Hardik opened up on how Dhoni’s advice made a big difference to the way he approached the game. He recalled:
“Early in my days, Mahi bhai taught me one thing. I asked him a very simple question, which was like how do you get away from pressure. He gave me a very simple advice and that was - ‘stop thinking about what your score is, start thinking what your team requires’. That lesson has stuck to my mind and helped me to become the kind of player which I have become. In whichever situation I go in, I assess and kind of play accordingly.”
Hardik struck three fours and as many sixes in his knock on Friday. Earlier, he had scored an unbeaten 31 off 12 in the first T20I and 31 not out off 21 in the third T20I of the series.
“For me, genuinely nothing changes” - Hardik Pandya on difference in playing for Gujarat Titans and India
Before making a comeback into the Indian team, Hardik had an amazing time in IPL 2022. He led the Gujarat Titans (GT) to victory in their maiden IPL season. The all-rounder made a significant individual contribution, scoring 487 runs and claiming eight wickets.
He was also adjudged the 'Player of the Match' in the final for a wonderful all-round effort. Asked how playing for India is different from representing GT, the Baroda cricketer said:
“For me, genuinely nothing changes. I play the situation. I play the symbol that is there on my chest. The only thing I want to get better at, with time, is about the smoothness and how frequently I can do what I have been doing, both for India and Gujarat.”
Hardik was recently named captain of the Indian team for the two-match T20I series to be played against Ireland in Dublin on June 26 and June 28.