MS Dhoni had once reprimanded allrounder Hardik Pandya during a match, the former revealed in a chat with Gaurav Kapoor for Breakfast With Champions. Hardik Pandya also revealed that it happened during his debut. It was apparently a match against Australia when Hardik got rid of Chris Lynn in the first ball of his second over after conceding 21 runs in his first over. It shows that Dhoni trusted him after he conceded 21 runs in his first over. But what happened next got MS Dhoni enraged at the youngster. However, the debutante held his nerves and eventually that paid dividends as he returned with 2 wickets to his name in 3 overs with under 40 runs conceded.
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Hardik Pandya said,
It was nightmare, giving 21 runs in my first international over. First time in my life I was blank, I didn’t know what to do. But Mahi bhai being a legend said ‘aaja doosra over daal’ (come, bowl another over). I went for 6 runs in the first ball and it was like 1.1 overs and I went for 28 runs. But after that I gave only 7-8 runs in two overs and took two wickets. He (Dhoni) didn’t say anything but I still remember in the post-match press conference, he said ‘I knew that after the first over, he will be a better bowler for sure’.
After getting Lynn out, I still remember I got over-excited. Mahi bhai then said ‘you are doing this thing for the last time because you will get banned plus the team will lose a player. So we don’t want that’. I was like ‘ya sorry’. I might be the first player to get ICC Code of Conduct warning in the first international game. I just thought after that ‘for a couple of slangs, I won’t lose money, it’s my hard earned money.
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Pandya has cemented his spot in the One Day International and T20I squad. The 24-year-old also has the captain’s confidence and coach and that certainly will help him fine-tune his game and mature as a cricketer.
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Pandya will soon be seen donning the blue jersey against Sri Lanka in the upcoming ODIs and T20Is.