Star India all-rounder Hardik Pandya recalled the words of former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni during his first international game against Australia which shaped up his short career so far and showed him the way how to conduct in a cricketing field. Pandya revealed that how Dhoni reprimanded him for getting over-excited after getting his first international wicket of Chris Lynn. He got a warning on his debut for his extraordinary celebrations on reaching his maiden wicket.
Pandya went for 21 runs in his very first over and revealed that for the first time he didn’t know what to do.
“It was a nightmare, giving 21 runs in my first international over. First time in my life I was blank, I didn’t know what to do. But Mahi bhai being a legend said ‘aaja doosra over daal’ (come, bowl another over). I went for 6 runs in the first ball and it was like 1.1 overs and I went for 28 runs. But after that I gave only 7-8 runs in two overs and took two wickets. He (Dhoni) didn’t say anything but I still remember in the post-match press conference, he said ‘I knew that after the first over, he will be a better bowler for sure’.”
“After getting Lynn out, I still remember I got over-excited. Mahi bhai then said ‘you are doing this thing for the last time because you will get banned plus the team will lose a player. So we don’t want that’. I was like ‘ya sorry’. I might be the first player to get ICC Code of Conduct warning in the first international game. I just thought after that ‘for a couple of slangs, I won’t lose money, it’s my hard earned money,” Pandya was quoted as saying during a show named “Breakfast with Champions” alongside Gaurav Kapoor.
Pandya scored his maiden Test century against Sri Lanka earlier in the year of a mere 86 deliveries which also included four sixes and a four in a single over of left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpkumara. In the process, he also became the fastest to reach a century batting at No.8 in Test match cricket. Pandya revealed that the night before he struck his maiden Test century he couldn’t sleep as his anxiety level was pretty high.
“I was not able to sleep the previous night till 3. My anxiety level was very high because I had previously got out to the same bowler and I was furious then. I usually don’t think much when I get out but if I lose my wicket in a certain way, I think a lot.
“That morning everyone noticed that I wasn’t talking to anyone and only warming up. It was like in 10 minutes, I asked 5-6 times about the start of play and as soon as the umpire signalled, I went out and it was only then that I calmed down. I remember all the fielders were at the boundary only and I was like, ‘bro, I am going all guns blazing’,” Pandya told.
The all-rounder also quipped that the current hairstyle he spots is given to him by opener Shikhar Dhawan.
“I asked Shikhar to remove a bit of my hair but he removed it all. I was like it’s alright. I am pretty confident that I can carry it so it’s okay,” Pandya said.