Hardik has been getting a lot of acclaim this year, be it for his superb all-round show with the bat and ball or his captaincy that helped Gujarat Titans clinch their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title in their debut season.
His all-round show in India’s Asia Cup opener against Pakistan was central to India’s victory over the archrivals. Hardik took three wickets and scored 34 not out to play a key role.
“I was just a new kid trying to learn new things about life and sport. MS Dhoni has played a big role in my growth. Whenever I got an opportunity, I used to observe him and learn things. The kind of mindset and knowledge he had, just observing it, it has reflected in my personality on the field,” said Hardik on Star Sports.
He said that he always wanted responsibility.
“It was about owning my mistakes, taking my chances, failing and learning from them. Sometimes it is failures that teach you, not your closest confide, not your aide and to a good extent even Mahi bhai (Dhoni). Some failures you just experience and you learn from them,” he added.
Hardik said that his failures helped him understand his role better and to find out which roles he is good at, how he could get better in his roles.
The star all-rounder, who will turn 29 in October, said that the last four years of his life have been his most important.
“The way things shaped (up), I cannot put this all in words. It was a learning phase for me,” he added.
On the art of finishing, Hardik said that the good finishing touch from the lower order or a finisher is important.
“You might go to a restaurant, the food could be amazing, but if there is no finishing touch, it does not add the charm to the dish no matter how it tastes. The look of it matters. It is similar in the game. No matter how close you come, how well poised you are, how strong you are, when you do not get finishing touches from your lower order or finisher, it does not look complete,” he said.
Pandya returned to his fully-fit avatar in 2022 after dealing with fitness issues over the years to lead Gujarat Titans to their maiden India Premier League (IPL) title in their debut season.
Throughout the season, Pandya led his side from the front with his all-round show, scoring 487 runs at an average of 44.27 in 15 games and hitting four fifties. He also took eight wickets for his side, including a match-winning 3/17 in the final.
Since then, he has shown exceptional form for India in T20Is and has played many crucial knocks, be it as an aggressor or an anchor. He will remain a very important player for the side in the upcoming T20 World Cup, which will take place in October-November this year in Australia.