Star Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya said on Wednesday that legendary wicketkeeper MS Dhoni played a big role in his growth. Hardik Pandya has been getting a lot of acclaim this year, be it for his superb all-round show with bat and ball or his captaincy that helped Gujarat Titans clinch their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title in their debut season. “I was just a new kid trying to learn new things about life and sport. MS Dhoni has played a big role in my growth. Whenever I got an opportunity, I used to observe him and learn things,” said Pandya on Star Sports.
“The kind of mindset and knowledge he had, just observing it, it has reflected in my personality on the field,” he added.
Pandya said that he always wanted responsibility since when one owns something, it becomes more personal to him.
“It was about owning my mistakes, taking my chances, failing and learning from them. Sometimes, it is failures that teaches you, not your closest confide, not your aid and to a good extent even Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni). Some failures, you just experience and you learn from them,” he added.
Pandya said that his failures helped him understand his role better and to find out which roles he is good at, how he could get better in his roles.
The star all-rounder, who will turn 29 in October said that the last four years of his life has been his most important.
“The way things shaped, I cannot put this all in words. It was a learning phase for me,” he added.
On the art of finishing, Pandya said that the good finishing touch from the lower order or finisher is important.
“You might go to a restaurant, the food could be amazing but if there is no finishing touch, it does not add the charm to the dish no matter how it tastes. The look of it matters. It is similar in the game, no matter how close you come, how well-poised you are, how strong you are, when you do not get finishing touches from your lower order or finisher, it does not look complete,” he said.
Pandya returned to his fully fit avatar in 2022 after dealing with fitness issues over the years to lead Gujarat Titans to their maiden India Premier League (IPL) title in their debut season.
Throughout the season, Pandya led his side from the front with his all-round show, scoring 487 runs at an average of 44.27 in 15 games and hitting four fifties. He also took eight wickets for his side, including a match-winning 3/17 in the final.
Since then, he has shown exceptional form for India in T20Is and has played many crucial knocks, be it as an aggressor or an anchor. In T20Is this year, Pandya has scored 314 runs across 13 innings in 14 matches at an average of 34.88.
He has scored one half-century and various other crucial knocks. He has also taken 11 wickets for his side in 14 matches with best bowling figures of 4/33.
In three ODIs as well, he has hit 100 runs in two innings across three matches with an average of 50, with one fifty and the best score of 71. He has also taken six wickets across these three matches, with best figures of 4/24.
Pandya will remain a very important player for Team India in the upcoming ICC World T20 2022, which will take place from October-November this year.
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