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Hardik Pandya reveals the advice that MS Dhoni gave to him during the early days of his international career

The 26-year-old also spoke about Rahul Dravid and said the former Indian cricketer had made him realise that there was nothing called "natural game".

Mahendra Singh Dhon with Hardik Pandya
Mahendra Singh Dhoni with Hardik Pandya. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who was all set to return to cricket after undergoing a surgery on his troubled back, had to be removed from the India A team after he failed the fitness test in Mumbai on Saturday.

Pandya was selected in the A team as the selectors wanted him to be match-fit for the second half of India’s tour of New Zealand which will start from January 24. However, with the recent development, it remains unclear as to when the swashbuckling cricketer will make his return.

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Speaking on an India Today show, Pandya was seen talking about how Mahendra Singh Dhoni had helped him in overcoming pressure which a cricketer is often subjected to during an ongoing match.

“MS told me once that if you want to get rid off the pressure of your own pressure then stop looking at your score on the scoreboard. Put the team in front and you will never feel the pressure. To be honest, since then I have never felt that kind of pressure that I used to feel earlier,” India Today quoted Pandya as saying.

‘Rahul Dravid also advised me’: Hardik Pandya

The 26-year-old also spoke about Rahul Dravid and said the former Indian cricketer had made him realise that there was nothing called “natural game”. He shed light on an instance which took place when Dravid was the head coach of the India A team and Pandya was a part of the squad.

“So what happened was, I was with the Baroda state team. I got a call from BCCI, saying I might have to fly to Australia as Vijay Shankar has got an injury or something. So I went there and in a meeting someone said that I am going to play my natural game. So, Rahul Dravid did not agree to that and said there is no (such) thing as natural game,” he said.

The cricketer followed it up by saying that Dravid had adviced to play according to the situation and not rely on a single style of play. Pandya said that according to Dravid “there is nothing natural, it is all situation based cricket”.

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