India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who scored 46 runs in the fourth T20I against South Africa, revealed MS Dhoni’s advice early on in his career which has helped him become a better player.
Hardik has recently made a comeback into the India squad during the T20I series against South Africa, making some vital contributions. His inclusion came on the back of a sensational IPL with the Gujarat Titans, where he proved his form and fitness, leading them to the title. Pandya scored 487 runs in the IPL while also chipping in with 8 wickets.
“For me, genuinely nothing changes because I play (according to the) situation, I play the symbol which is there on my chest. The only thing which I obviously want to get better with time is how smoothly and frequently I keep doing the things I did for Gujarat Titans and for India,” Hardik told fellow teammate Dinesh Karthik in a video posted on BCCI.TV.
“Early in my days, Mahi Bhai taught me one thing. I asked him how do you get away from pressure and everything. And he gave me very simple advice, ‘Stop thinking about your score and start to think of what your team requires’.
So, that lesson has stuck in my mind and has helped me become the player that I’m, to play under any situation,” he added.
The most impressive aspect of his game though was his leadership abilities, which has led him to being named the Indian captain for the two-match T20I series against Ireland later this month. Pandya has been in good form during the ongoing five-match series, scoring 117 runs at a strike rate of 153.94, averaging 58.50 in four matches so far.
His partnership with Dinesh Karthik was crucial in India’s competitive total during the fourth T20I in Rajkot, which helped them level the series 2-2.
“I need to tell you this, genuinely I want to tell you this, you have given a lot of inspiration to many guys in their life.
I remember the conversation you were having when you were not in the scheme of things, a lot of people counted you out,” Hardik praised Dinesh Karthik.
The fifth and the final T20I between India and South Africa will be played at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru on Sunday.