Hardik Pandya, in the interview with Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz, talked about his journey into the Indian national squad setup and how his journey has been so far.
Hardik, who made his International debut in a Twenty20 game in Adelaide, went for 26 in his first over and a half, which left him fearing about his career.
He said, “I conceded 26 runs from my first 8 balls and frankly thought my career was over. When I was hit for a huge six, almost 105-110m, I thought I was done. I felt it couldn’t get worse than this and thankfully I managed to snare a couple of wickets.”
Hardik then went on to talk about the captains that he has played under. He made his international debut under the leadership of MS Dhoni and has played most of his cricket under the Kohli-Shastri combo.
About the ever so cool and calm wicketkeeper batsman, Hardik said, “I think he (MS Dhoni) wanted me to learn from my own experiences.” About the current captain and coach, Hardik said, “Virat and Ravi bhai (Shastri), they have given me that freedom, not just to me, but for everyone in the team. That’s the beauty of this current Indian team, we have all made mistakes, but we are also learning at a very rapid pace. Those two have backed me a lot.”
Hardik then narrated his experience of being coached by one of the greatest Indian batsman of all time, Rahul Dravid, while being a part of the India A tours. The Surat born all-rounder was grateful at having had the opportunity to learn from ‘The Wall’.
“Rahul Dravid has always accepted me the way I am. He never made me feel that he’s judging me, he has always enjoyed watching my work ethics and has told me about the same as well,” Pandya said, with a contemptuous smile on his face.
Hardik also talked about the lowest point of his Cricketing career, which came in the form of an off-cricket discussion in a television show, which also featured his India team-mate, KL Rahul. Both players received a period of suspension and a warning from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Pandya though feels that the unsavoury episode could be the start of a career under a fresh perspective. “I have made mistakes in my life and the best part in me is I accept them. If I hadn’t accepted my mistake, one more television show would have been on the cards,” he contemplated.