Star India all-rounder Hardik Pandya is ready to take the biggest responsibility of his career as a finisher in the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE. Team India will certainly miss life coach and brother MS Dhoni, as per Hardik.
In an interview to ESPNcricinfo’s Cricket Monthly’, the 28-year-old spoke about the bond he shares with the former India player.
“The biggest so far, I will say, because this time I don’t have Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Everything is on my shoulders — I like to think that way because it gives me an added challenge. It is going to be exciting, a cracker of a tournament,” he said.
Pandya further added that Dhoni knows him in and out and he made him learn a lot of things when he was drafted back into the Indian side after serving his suspension for making sexist remarks on a TV show.
“MS was someone who understood me from the start: how I function, what kind of a person I am, what are the things I don’t like, everything,” he said.
“…initially there were no hotel rooms (for Pandya in New Zealand). But then I get a call, saying, “You just come. MS has told us, ‘I don’t sleep on the bed. He will sleep on my bed and I will sleep on the floor.’”
“He (Dhoni) was the first person who has been always there. He knows what kind of an individual I am. He knows me quite deep. I am very close to him. He is the only person who can make me calm.
“When all this (the TV remarks controversy) happened, he knew that I needed support. I just needed a shoulder, which he provided multiple times in my cricketing career. I never saw him as MS Dhoni the greatest. For me, Mahi is my brother,” he asserted.