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Hardik Pandya thanks MS Dhoni for valuable suggestions

Hardik Pandya acknowledged the role played by former India captain MS Dhoni in his grooming during the England series earlier this year

Hardik Pandya IPL 2016
Mumbai Indians. (Photo Source: IANS)

The rapid rise of Hardik Pandya has given a lot of hopes for India’s never-ending quest of finding a genuine all-rounder. Pandya has shown his ability with both bat and ball in his short international career. The 23-year-old has acknowledged the valuable suggestions he got from MS Dhoni.

Dhoni, arguably the greatest finisher cricket has ever seen, gave Pandya advice on how to go about finishing innings during the England limited-overs series in January where Hardik averaged 125 in three innings, remaining unbeaten twice.

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Speaking to One India, Pandya said, “You can say one thing that I have taken a lot of advices 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 highlighted the importance of taking the game closer and not get bogged down by the scoreboard pressure, something Dhoni does perfectly well.

Pandya added, “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.”

Pandya arrived at the international scene in the captainship of MS Dhoni when he debuted in January 2016. He was included in the Indian squad for the ICC World T20 last year as well, where Pandya played the role of a bowling all-rounder well.

Since then Pandya has been in the scheme of things as far as limited-overs cricket is concerned. He was also added to the Test squad recently but couldn’t debut as he picked up an injury.

Speaking of the injury, Pandya said that he had attained full fitness due to the rigorous rehab at the NCA in the lead up to the IPL.

He is currently part of the Mumbai Indians team and is expected to perform the dual role in the high-profile tournament. Pandya was off to a great start to the IPL 2017 when he pulverized the Supergiant bowlers, especially Ashoke Dinda, in his undefeated 15-ball 35 runs cameo. He also took his team home against KKR by hitting 12 runs in the final over.

Mumbai Indians boosts of the tournament’s best coaching staff with the presence of former greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Mahela Jayawardene and Jonty Rhodes. Asked about his experience of working with such vastly experienced coaching staff Pandya said, “It is amazing experience for me everyday to share training with the legends as well as get lessons on the game from them in the dressing room.”

Pandya has shown a lot of promise in his young international career. It will be interesting to see how he copes up to the expectations. If he keeps his head, he has a bright future ahead of him.

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