Star Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has stated that he will have a big responsibility on his shoulders as a finisher in the absence of legendary Indian captain MS Dhoni in the playing XI in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been named in India’s T20 World Cup 2021 squad. According to reports, he is still not fully to bowl complete 4 overs in T20Is, but his rich experience of finishing the game with bat can’t be neglected, and he will play the role of a finisher in the team.
Meanwhile, Hardik stated that it will be challenging for him to finish the games for India in the absence of MS Dhoni. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, he said:
“The biggest so far, I will say, because this time I don’t have Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Everything is on my shoulders – i like to think that way because it gives me an added challenge. it is going to be exciting, a cracker of a tournament,”
Talking about former Indian captain MS Dhoni, Hardik said:
“MS was someone who understood me from the start: how I function, what kind of a person I am, what are the things I don’t like, everything,”
MS Dhoni Is The Only Person Who Can Make Me Calm – Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya recalled how MS Dhoni helped him in difficult times when he was suspended by BCCI after his controversial statement on a TV talk show. He stated:
“Initially there were no hotel rooms (for Pandya in New Zealand). But then I get a call, saying, “You just come. MS has told us, ‘I don’t sleep on the bed. He will sleep on my bed and I will sleep on the floor.”
“He (Dhoni) was the first person who has been always there. He knows what kind of an individual I am. He knows me quite deep. I am very close to him. He is the only person who can make me calm.
“When all this (the TV remarks controversy) happened, he knew that I needed support. I just needed a shoulder, which he provided multiple times in my cricketing career. I never saw him as MS Dhoni the greatest. For me, Mahi is my brother,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya also stated that when he struggles to understand his own thoughts, then he contacts his “life Coach”, MS Dhoni. Pandya asserted:
“...I have to call him and say, “Yeh soch rahan hoon, kya chal raha hai, batao.” (This is on my mind. What do you think?) Then he will explain. So, yes, in a lot of ways he is a life coach.
Hardik also believes that staying with Dhoni has helped him to become more mature and humble. He said:
“Staying with him, obviously, you learn to be mature, you learn to become humble,”