The cricket fans witnessed yet another Hardik Pandya classic on Friday night when Team India was chasing a series-levelling win against South Africa in Rajkot. After the top-order was taken down by the Proteas bowlers, the Indian vice-captain teamed up with Dinesh Karthik and stitched a crucial 65-run stand for the fifth wicket to rescue the Indian innings.
Hardik scored 46 while Karthik brought up his maiden T20I fifty as India posted 169 for 6 in 20 overs. In reply, the visitors succumbed to an 82-run loss, registering their lowest-ever total in T20Is.
The all-rounder in a great form is indeed a huge positive for the Indian team, especially the selectors who were worried about him until last year. Now, he is going to lead the Men in Blue for the first time in the upcoming 2 T20Is in Ireland. Meanwhile, Dinesh Karthik was curious to know if things would change for him since he recently led the Gujarat Titans to the title victory in IPL 2022.
During a conversation after the Rajkot T20, Pandya revealed a lesson he learnt from former India captain MS Dhoni which has helped him to become a better player.
“For me, genuinely nothing changes because I play (according to the) situation, the symbol which is I’m carrying on my chest. The only thing which I want to get better with time is how smoothly and frequently I keep doing the things I did for Gujarat Titans and for India,” Pandya told Karthik during a chat on BCCI.tv.
“Early in my days, Mahi Bhai taught me one thing. I asked him how do you get away from pressure and everything. And he gave me very simple advice, ‘Stop thinking about your score and start to think of what your team requires’. So, that lesson has stuck in my mind and has helped me become the player that I’m, to play under any situation,” he added.
The 28-year-old year all-rounder has been on a phenomenal run since his return to the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 as Gujarat Titans captain. Not only he scored runs (487) and scalped wickets, but also led his team to its maiden title win.
As he continues his red hot form in the South Africa T20Is, the selectors decided to name him the captain for the Ireland tour.