India’s star all-rounder Hardik Pandya shares a great bond with former Indian skipper MS Dhoni. Pandya had started his career under the leadership of MS Dhoni and also made his white-ball cricket debut under the leadership of a legendary skipper. On Monday, Hardik Pandya revealed MS Dhoni’s heartfelt gesture towards him where he offered his bed to him in New Zealand.
Yes, you read that right. Hardik Pandya was the last moment addition to the national squad for the Indian cricket team for the away series against New Zealand in 2019. Pandya reached their mid-series and played 6 out of the 8 matches. The star all-rounder was originally scheduled to land in New Zealand with other team members of the Indian team from Australia however the one-year suspension from the BCCI saw him return back to India.
KL Rahul, who was also suspended along with Hardik Pandya, was sent added to India A squad for the home series against England Lions, on the other hand, Pandya was sent to New Zealand to make his comeback to international cricket. However, when Pandya reached the venue he had to face some issues as there was no hotel room available for him.
Recalling the incident, Hardik Pandya revealed how MS Dhoni came to his rescue. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Pandya revealed Dhoni’s heartfelt gesture towards him as the former Indian skipper offered his bed to him as he sleeps on the floor. He revealed:
“MS was someone who understood me from the start: how I function, what kind of a person I am, what are the things I don’t like, everything. When I was picked for the New Zealand series [in January 2019, after the suspension was revoked], initially there were no hotel rooms [for Pandya in New Zealand]. But then I get a call, saying, “You just come. MS has told us, ‘I don’t sleep on the bed [in any case]. He will sleep on my bed and I will sleep on the floor,”
Talking about Pandya’s performance in the series, he made his comeback into international cricket in the 3rd ODI against NZ and was successful in making an immediate impact by scalping 2 wickets for 45 runs in 10 overs. But he didn’t get the chance to bat. Following the series against NZ, Pandya had to miss the final series before World Cup because of back issues.