- Sep 23, 2023
- May 8, 2023
Hardik Pandya had a great time during the Indian T20 Leauge 2022 with his new franchise, i.e. Gujarat. In just their debut season, he led the franchise to their maiden title. Pandya led from the front with his all-round performance. It is to be noted that the all-rounder started his international career under the leadership of MS Dhoni
The legend gave opportunities to many youngsters like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. All of them are now the superstars of Indian cricket. Hardik Pandya was no exception as he too was brought into the National set-up by Dhoni itself. Since his debut in 2016, he always looked to deliver with both the bat and ball for his teams. Now, during an SGTV Podcast, he opened up on his debut, and how the former Indian captain showed a lot of trust in him during that game.
“After three games he told me that I will play the T20 World Cup as well” – MS Dhoni to Hardik
Speaking in that podcast, he said: “When I joined the Indian team, I saw guys whom I had seen growing up – Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Ashish Nehra. Even before I played for India, they were the stars. For me, when I went there it was a big thing.”
Hardik said that Dhoni’s support in his debut match was unreal. He shared an incident where he got trusted by Dhoni despite going for runs in his first over. He added: “So obviously the kind of debut I had – I think I am the first cricketer who had gone for 21 runs in his first over – I genuinely felt that ok, this might be my last over. But I was very blessed and lucky to play under Mahi Bhai who showed a lot of trust in us which has helped us reach where we did,”
Here is the statement, shared on Twitter:
Hardik Pandya (in SGTV Podcast) said "I genuinely felt it was my last over after going for 21 runs in the first over but I was blessed and lucky to play under MS Dhoni, who showed trust in me and after three games he told that I will play the T20 World Cup as well".
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) June 6, 2022
Speaking about that series, Hardik played in all the games, but did not get any opportunity to bat. He picked up only three wickets. However, seeing his potential, MS Dhoni was convinced and assured him a place in the 2016 20-20 World Cup which was scheduled to get started after a few months at that time. Now, Hardik Pandya is in the Indian squad, and is set to feature in the five-match T20I home series against South Africa.