Star Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya is having a great time since his return to competitive cricket. He enjoyed a tremendous season as the captain and the batter for Gujarat Titans (GT) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 and carried the same form in the ongoing T20I series against South Africa.

Pandya played a crucial role in India’s massive 82-run victory against the Proteas in the recently-concluded 4th T20I in Rajkot. He smashed 46 off 31 balls and formed a defining partnership with comeback man Dinesh Karthik when the hosts were in a spot of bother.

After the victory, both Pandya and Karthik sat for a fun chat where the former recalled a conversation with ex-India skipper MS Dhoni. Pandya reminisced how he will be forever thankful to Dhoni for helping him mature as a cricketer.

“In my early days, I asked Mahi bhai one question. I asked him how he gets away from pressure, and he gave me some very simple advice — ‘stop thinking about your own score and start thinking about what your team requires’. From very early, that lesson has stuck to my mind and helped me become the kind of player I am now,” Hardik said in a video shared by BCCI on Twitter.

Here is the video:

Notably, Pandya and Karthik stitched together a 65-run partnership in the game, guiding India from a dangerous position to one of strength. The duo took India to 169/6, and then the home team bundled out South Africa for a mere 87 to register a humungous triumph by 82 runs and also levelled the series.

Karthik, who smashed his first half-century (55) in the shortest format, credited head coach Rahul Dravid for bringing the calmness to the change room, which eventually helped all the players to perform under pressure.

“Credit to Rahul Dravid; there is a certain sense of calmness. The dressing room is a calm place right now. It is important to learn to embrace the pressure. It feels secure and fuzzy. That clarity and the environment helped,” Karthik had said after bagging the ‘Player of the Match’ award on Friday.


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