Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has said that MS Dhoni deserves a lot of credit for his success and achievement in his career.
Hardik Pandya has been one of the flamboyant all-rounders Indian cricket has ever produced. The 28-year-old has time to time proved his mettle and has won many matches on his own for his national team and his IPL franchise.
He, however, saw a dark phase in his career after he made some controversial statements in a TV talk show, which even saw him getting suspended by BCCI in 2019.
Hardik Pandya in their interaction with ESPNCricinfo revealed how MS Dhoni played an important role in his life after he was suspended by the BCCI. He said that the former Indian skipper gave him all the support he needed.
“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 happened, he knew that I needed support. I just needed a shoulder, which he provided multiple times in my cricketing career,” Hardik Pandya was quoted by saying on The Cricket Monthly.
Hardik Pandya said he never saw MS Dhoni as the “greatest” but only as his “brother” who was there when he needed him the most.
“I never saw him as MS Dhoni the greatest. For me, Mahi is my brother. I respect and admire the fact that he was there when I needed him the most,” he said.
The all-rounder revealed a story from the 2019 New Zealand series where when he couldn’t find a room in the hotel, MS asked him to sleep on his bed while he slept on the floor.
“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. When I was picked for the New Zealand series, initially there were no hotel rooms [for him in New Zealand].
“But then I get a call, saying, You just come. MS has told us, ‘I don’t sleep on the bed [in any case]. 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 said.
Hardik Pandya will play a crucial role for Team India in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2021, along with MS Dhoni, who is in his new role as a mentor for the country. The Virat Kohli-led will begin their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on 24th October.