MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya. Photo- Twitter
MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya. Photo- Twitter

In response to a question about his teammate Sanju Samson, stand-in skipper Hardik Pandya channelled his inner MS Dhoni, earning praise from veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

Hardik Pandya was reappointed as the captain of the Indian T20I team for their international assignment in New Zealand as part of India’s ongoing leadership overhaul following the completion of the T20 World Cup. 

The newest member of India’s leadership team, Hardik, was questioned about Samson’s exclusion from the Asian giants’ starting XI during the two opportunities that India received; the first match was called off before a ball was bowled.

Vvs Laxman and Hardik Pandya
Image Credits: Twitter/BCCI

Sanju Samson Knows It’s Not Personal: Hardik Pandya

Samson, a wicketkeeper-batter, was ordered to warm the bench for India and New Zealand’s three-match T20I series after gloveman Rishabh Pant was reinstated as the No. 1 option.

When asked about Samson’s dismissal, Pandya chose to follow Dhoni’s lead and explain why the Rajasthan Royals (RR) capital was absent from the Indian playing XI following the series-deciding match. 

Sanju Samson and Hardik Pandya, IPL 2022, GT vs RR
Sanju Samson and Hardik Pandya (Credits: IPL)

“He knows it’s not personal. It’s got to do with the situation. I am a peoples’ person. So if anyone needs me, I will be there for them. Everyone knows that if they feel anything at all, my doors are always open for them to come and have a chat with me, because I understand how they are feeling,” Pandya told reporters. 

Hardik Pandya Handled A Tricky Question Very Beautifully: Ravichandran Ashwin

Ashwin, a member of Team India, made special note of Pandya on his YouTube channel after noticing his outstanding answer. “I don’t know if he wanted to say that in Thala Dhoni’s style because we all know that Hardik is super close to Thala Dhoni. He handled a tricky question that is always trending on social media very beautifully. So, kudos to Hardik,” Ashwin said. 

Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni (Image Credits: Twitter)
Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni (Image Credits: Twitter)

Pandya, who is regarded as the ideal Rohit Sharma replacement in white-ball cricket, scored an unbeaten 30 off just 18 balls in the third and final T20I of the bilateral series at McLean Park.

 “Hardik Pandya replicated what he did for Gujarat Titans with the bat. He came out with all guns blazing. That was the only reason the match got tied,” Ashwin added. 

IND vs NZ: "I Don’t Know If He Wanted To Say That In Thala Dhoni’s Style"- Ravichandran Ashwin Responds To Hardik Pandya's Statement On Sanju Samson IND vs NZ: "I Don’t Know If He Wanted To Say That In Thala Dhoni’s Style"- Ravichandran Ashwin Responds To Hardik Pandya's Statement On Sanju Samson IND vs NZ: "I Don’t Know If He Wanted To Say That In Thala Dhoni’s Style"- Ravichandran Ashwin Responds To Hardik Pandya's Statement On Sanju Samson IND vs NZ: "I Don’t Know If He Wanted To Say That In Thala Dhoni’s Style"- Ravichandran Ashwin Responds To Hardik Pandya's Statement On Sanju Samson

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