There is no denying to the fact that Hardik Pandya has come to the limelight with his Mumbai Indians stint in the Indian Premier League. He had an exceptional time with them and got the opportunity to play with a few greats of the game and also developed relationships with the legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Mahela Jayawardene.
Ricky Ponting taught me mindset – Hardik Pandya
Especially, with Ricky Ponting, Hardik Pandya developed a great bond as he felt Ponting like a father figure. Speaking to Cricbuzz, the flamboyant all-rounder revealed how Ricky Ponting helped him to become a better player and a performer for his side during his initial days with the franchise.
Ahead of the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League, Mumbai Indians acquired the services of Australia’s batting great Ricky Ponting. He was eventually named the captain of the side as well. As he failed to deliver well with the bat, he turned himself as the coach of the team and handed the captaincy to Rohit Sharma in the middle of the season.
“Ricky Ponting was someone who looked after me the best. He looked after me like a child. I used to feel like he was my father figure there. Ricky taught me so many things, he taught me situations, he taught me mindset, how strong you should be,” Hardik Pandya said.
”As a new boy in 2015, I used to sit next to the hoardings. Ricky used to sit down with me and speak about the game. I started learning quickly,” he said while speaking to Harsha Bhogle.
Since then, Hardik Pandya has evolved himself as a frontline all-rounder for the Indian National Cricket Team and played all forms of the game. However, he couldn’t maintain his fitness and missed quite a few games in the last couple of years for India.
On the work front, he was all set for a return to International cricket via South Africa series but unfortunately, the first game was washed out and the rest of the series was postponed due to COVID-19 Pandemic.