NEW DELHI: Ecstatic after his maiden call-up into the Indian cricket team, all-rounder Hardik Pandya said that India A coach Rahul Dravid’s guidance during the Australia tour has made him “mentally stronger”.
“For me, everything changed after my tour of Australia with the India A team. It is a tour that transformed me as a cricketer. I can’t but thank Rahul Dravid enough for his contribution. I understood that there is a mental aspect about the game that needs to be worked upon. He (Dravid) made me mentally stronger,” Pandya said on Thursday.
“I don’t think I have learnt more than what I did during those one and half months under Rahul sir. He would tell me about things that I need to try out. I was mentally strong but after interacting with him, I understood that I could get even better. If my bowling is being talked about today, it’s because of Rahul sir and Paras Mhambrey (India A bowling coach).”
Terming it as the biggest day of his life, Pandya said: “Playing Test cricket is ultimate for anyone and I am no different. Yes, this is my biggest achievement till date. In fact, yesterday the Baroda team was travelling to Raipur for their Ranji game. I told the boys that let me stay back in Mumbai for a day. If I don’t get selected, I will join you guys next day. It was the happiest moment.”
Talking about his bowling, Pandya said: “The more you practice the craft, better you get at it. I bowled so much in Australia that it yielded results when I was back with the senior team. I became more consistent, hit the right length. The increase in pace has got a lot to do with the rhythm. If I am in rhythm, the pace will automatically increase by a few yards. The more I play at this level, the better I will get.”