Mahendra Singh Dhoni is regarded as one of the greatest leaders in the history of cricket, and rightfully so. The former Indian skipper led his team through thick and thin for many a years and all of that, with unmatched class and calmness. Players who made their debuts under the legendary captain got to know the caliber of his leadership.
One such youngster, who broke into the national side during Dhoni’s reign, was all-rounder Hardik Pandya. The Baroda player earned his first India cap in 2016 against Australia at Adelaide. However, it wasn’t the start that Pandya had hoped for. He went for 19 runs in his first over, with the first three deliveries of his international cricket being wide balls.
Hardik, while recalling his horrible debut over in international cricket, said that he thought that his career was already over. The Mumbai Indians star in a recent chat with Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz, revealed how Dhoni stood by him in a situation where some other captains would’ve slammed him.
“I genuinely thought my career was over. I had never taken such a beating even in domestic cricket,” said Hardik while recalling his over in which he went for 26 runs and had to ball 8 times.
The talented allrounder also recalled that Dhoni wasn’t critical at all despite that horrendous over.
“He didn’t speak to me there. MS Dhoni wanted me to learn from my own experiences. I think he did something fantastic as because of this experience, I got over the fact that I am playing for India. That was the moment I could tell myself that ‘I know Mahi, I know Kohli and Rohit Sharma’. Six months ago, the cricketers I used to admire, now I was playing with them. I was playing cricket with the players I used to admire watching,” said Hardik.