It's been a roller coaster of a journey for India all-rounder Hardik Pandya. While there have been moments where he has proved to be Team India's star performer, on other instances, there have been serious doubts raised about his career. The form has not been an issue for Hardik until recently when he has not been able to bowl consistently and runs haven't come from his bat either.
However, there is one person who has always supported and understood Hardik during tough times. And he is none other than the former India captain and current Team India mentor MS Dhoni. There is no better man to motivate the young players in the side and Hardik has shed light upon his bond with the Chennai Super Kings skipper saying that Mahi understood him right from Day 1, the kind of person he was and how he functioned.
Dhoni was the first person who has been always there: Hardik Pandya
The Mumbai Indians star said that when he was picked for New Zealand tour after his suspension for making insensitive remarks on a Television show was revoked, initially, there were no hotel rooms available. However, it was MS who said that Hardik could sleep on his bed as he sleeps on the floor anyway.
"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" Hardik said in an interview with Cricket Monthly.
"When I was picked for the New Zealand series [in January 2019, after the suspension was revoked], initially there were no hotel rooms [for Pandya in New Zealand], But then I get a call, saying, "You just come.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 [in any case]. 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 added.
Although Hardik was not seen rolling his arms over in recent matches due to his fitness concerns, he has been named in India's 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup. With Dhoni as the mentor, perhaps he can get the best out of players including the best of Hardik with the bat, who can alone be a match-winner and be a strong contender for a place in the Playing XI.
India will begin their T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 24.