Ever since the IPL 2022, the cricketing fraternity has witnessed the evolution of the Indian all-rounder, Hardik Pandya as he is slowly emerging as the captain of the Indian team. Ever since he led his IPL franchise – Gujarat Titans – to their maiden title win, he is being looked upon as a future captain. In fact, he has done more than a decent job by winning all the games he has led the Indian team in, against Ireland and New Zealand, in this calendar year.
The calm demeanor of Hardik Pandya in the field has led to his comparison with legendary Indian cricketer, MS Dhoni. And most recently, his statement on the exclusion of Sanju Samson has drawn plaudits from experts, fans, and also his teammates.
India recently won the 3-match T20I series against New Zealand 1-0. After the opening game in Wellington was abandoned due to rain, the followers of the game expected Sanju to feature in the playing XI. However, the team went ahead with Rishabh Pant and the Kerala cricketer warmed the bench in the last two games.
When asked about Sanju’s case, Hardik Pandya seemed to have taken a leaf out of Dhoni’s book to answer the question after the conclusion of the 3rd T20Is in Napier.
While talking to the reporters, Hardik Pandya said, “He knows it’s not personal. It’s got to do with the situation. I am a people’s 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.”
Veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took note of Pandya’s explanation and opined that the all-rounder managed to find a pretty decent answer to the question in Dhoni’s style.
In a recent video on his Youtube channel, R Ashwin said, “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. 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.”
After the conclusion of the 3-match series, Hardik Pandya returned home to spend some time with his family. Meanwhile, Shikhar Dhawan is leading the Indian team against Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in the first ODI on Friday in Auckland.