‘After playing only 3 games, Dhoni told me ‘you will be in the World Cup team” | Cricket

MS Dhoni is responsible for giving the current range of superstars to Indian cricket. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, R Ashwin… all made their debuts in India under Dhoni, went on to achieve great things professionally and took Indian cricket to unprecedented heights. Kohli and Rohit are two of the best hitters in world cricket, while Ashwin is the best Test spinner. As for Jadeja, he is arguably the best all-rounder in the world, as is English test captain Ben Stokes.

Also read: Kohli must ask: ‘I used to dominated, but now get out when the ball hits the bat’ – Ex-India pacer on Virat’s form

In 2016, another promising all-rounder made his debut under Dhoni, who later made a name for himself. Hardik Pandya was out of the Indian team for a while and made a triumphant return to top tier cricket in the 2022 Indian Premier League not only by performing with the bat and ball but took it one step further by taking Gujarat Titans to an IPL title in his first stint as captain.

Reflecting on his India debut, Hardik said the support he received from MS Dhoni was unparalleled. Bowling against Australia, Hardik went over for 21 runs in his first, and while any other captain would have hesitated to hand a youngster another one, Dhoni did, and thanks to his captain’s confidence, he finished 2/ 37 from three overs .

“When I joined the Indian team, I saw guys I had seen growing up – Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Ashish Nehra. Even before I played for India, they were the stars. For me , when I went there it was a big thing So the kind of debut I had – I think I’m the first cricketer to have made 21 runs in his first over – I really felt that ok this could be my last over But I was very blessed and lucky enough to play under Mahi Bhai, who showed a lot of confidence in us, which helped us get to where we’ve come,” Hardik told SGTV podcast.

Hardik didn’t bat in any of the three games, but he did take three wickets. However, Dhoni was so impressed with Hardik that the former India captain guaranteed the all-rounder a spot in the Indian World Cup squad, which was then only a few months away.

“Just after the third game of my international career, Mahi Bhai told me that you will be the World Cup team. So for me, to play World Cup or to learn that I only got to know this in the third game. I have not once beaten in that game, but he assured me you expressed yourself. Yeah, it was just a dream come true,” Hardik added.

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