What’s the story?
Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya who has been in brilliant hitting form in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) has credited former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his success.
“You can say one thing that I have taken a lot of advice from Mahi (MS Dhoni) Bhai. During the series against England, I had the opportunity to talk to Mahi Bhai often and I took a lot of suggestions from him regarding improvement on my batting as well as bowling,” Pandya was quoted by One India.
“Playing as a finisher in the death overs in either One-Day international or in a T-20 match is very tough. It becomes a totally mental game at that time. Dhoni gave me some priceless suggestions as he said to calculate the remaining runs and overs left while going in to bat.”
“But at the same time, Dhoni’s suggestion was not to look at the scoreboard after every delivery while batting. At the same time, Dhoni also gave tips on another thing. That was to make an assessment of the opponent bowlers. This helps to take possession on the pitch after going to bat. I am truly indebted to the former Indian skipper for his valuable suggestions,” he added.
In case you did not know
Since making his debut for the Indian team in early 2016 Pandya has had a topsy-turvy career. He started off with a bang but then lost his way a little bit. In the last few One-Dayers against England, he came good again with the willow.
With the ball too he has picked up 24 international wickets in One-Day Internationals and T20s combined and now has taken the IPL by storm.
The heart of the story
After smashing a 15-ball 35 against the Rising Pune Supergiant in the first game where the Mumbai Indians lost, Pandya came up with an 11-ball 29 next against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) this time to ensure an emphatic victory for his franchise at the Wankhede yesterday.
When Pandya came out to bat against KKR, his side were looking down the barrel with the score reading 119/5 but he and Nitish Rana then dragged the team out of trouble to kick on and clinch a famous win. The winning runs too were off the bat of Pandya who flicked Trent Boult to the fine leg boundary off the penultimate ball of the 20th over.
Pandya would ideally like to carry on his newfound momentum throughout the league and help his team win the crown again. He should also try and deliver for the Indian team in the Champions Trophy in June.
It is indeed great to see Dhoni, who has been quite a legend in the limited overs format passing his knowledge down to youngsters who are the future of Indian cricket. What’s better is Pandya acknowledging the fact that it has made him a better finisher.