Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has taken the cricketing world by a storm in the past few months, has now admitted that the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar’s belief has given him a lot of self-confidence. Recently, he won the man of the series award against the mighty Aussies scoring 222 runs and taking six wickets proving valuable for the team.
The cricketer from Baroda broke into the scene with some with some amazing hitting in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for his franchise side Mumbai Indians where he worked with the cricketing legend. He made his International debut in a T20I against Australia in January 2016 and soon after made his ODI debut. Recently, he made his test debut against Sri Lanka a few months back where he played all the three matches and scored a brilliant hundred in the third and final match of the series.
In a chat with NDTV, the 24-yeard-old cricketer revealed many interesting facts about himself and also how Sachin’s belief helped him to grow as a player. He said, “When Sachin sir told me that you will play for India. ‘If you keep playing like this you will play for India in one and half years’. To be honest, when he told me this I was more than happy and not even thinking of playing for India. I thought if Sachin sir is saying something like this, then at least I have something in me. So, it gave me a lot of self-confidence.”
Pandya also admitted that he left school at the 9th standard to earn his living and focus more on his game. “I didn’t leave my studies because of the sport. It’s just that I was not good at it. There were many factors, money was a problem and I was not involved in studies. But I won’t suggest this to the youngsters. When someone has crossed 17-18, I just tell them to study. It’s very simple. Cricket is very difficult to reason being a degree stays with you. As cricketers we are here right now, we might be somewhere else the next day,” the cricketer further added.
Pandya, who started as a spinning all-rounder said that his childhood coach N Sanath Kumar spotted his fast-bowling abilities. “I stopped bowling leg spin because I got angry. They use to not give me bowling and I use to get angry. So I said I’m not bowling and I’m just going to bat. Then I use to get bored and would go help fast bowlers. One day, it was Sanath Kumar from Bangalore, he was our coach, and he made Hardik Pandya as an all-rounder. He saw me in the nets and in 15 days I was bowling in the Ranji Trophy, which was surprising,” he signed off.