Hardik Pandya’s life is a perfect example of rags to riches. And, it all changed on February 16, 2015, when he was among the 67 players picked by the Mumbai Indians for the eighth edition of the cash-rich league.
Hardik was picked up by the Mumbai Indians at a base price of Rs 10 Lakh. Hardik, who was a relatively unknown commodity outside the domestic circles, had shot into prominence after he scored a blistering 82 in a domestic T20 game against an attack that featured Zaheer Khan.
John Wright, Mumbai Indians talent scout, recommended his name to Nita Ambani and Akash Ambani. And, thus Hardik’s journey from rags to riches kicked off.
Once he entered into the Mumbai Indians set-up, Hardik was guided like a child by then-coach Ricky Ponting.
‘He looked after me like a child’- Hardik Pandya on Ricky Ponting
Pandya, during a recent conversation with Harsha Bhogle on CricBuzz, revealed how the former Australian captain used to treat him like a child, even sitting beside him near the hoardings, teaching him the basic nuances of this beautiful game.
“Ricky Ponting was someone who looked after me the best. He looked after me like a child. I used to feel like he was my father figure there,” Hardik Pandya told Cricbuzz.
He added: “Ricky taught me so many things, he taught me situations, he taught me mindset, how strong you should be. As a new boy in 2015, I used to sit next to the hoardings. Ricky used to sit down with me and speak about the game. (With all these conversations) I started learning quickly.”
Hardik also opened up about his friendship with his Mumbai Indians teammate Kieron Pollard, adding that he is someone who relates to the Baroda all-rounder’s game.
“We have such beautiful relations, our families are in touch. We talk despite all the time differences in the West Indies, we make sure we talk at least once in a month. I look up to him as my senior, my role model. I never had one specific role model. I always wanted to learn from the best, different things from different people, and I wanted to combine that in my game – Mahi bhai’s calmness, Virat’s hunger. From 2015, when I made it to the IPL, I always wanted to learn from people. That’s when I realized that Polly is someone who relates to my game.” Hardik Pandya revealed.
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