India vs SA 2022: Hardik Pandya reveals MS Dhoni told him about World Cup selection after just 3 games | Cricket News

Team India all-rounder and IPL 2022-winning captain Hardik Pandya is back with the Men-in-Blue as they prepare to take on South Africa in the first of five T20 games at the Arun Jaitley Stadium beginning on Thursday (June 9). Hardik has turned out in 63 ODIs and 54 T20 games till date for Team India. Pandya missed the first training session on Monday (June 6) but is expected to resume training with the side on Tuesday (June 7).

While talking to SGTV Podcast, Hardik Pandya recalled his 3rd international match in 2016 when skipper MS Dhoni broke the news to him that he’ll be included in the World Cup squad.  “When I joined the Indian team, I saw guys whom 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”, he said.

“So obviously the kind of debut I had – I think I am the first cricketer who had gone for 21 runs in his first over – I genuinely felt that ok, this might be my last over. But I was very blessed and lucky to play under Mahi bhai who showed lot of trust in us which has helped us reach where we did,” he added.

“Just after the third game of my international career, Mahi bhai told me you will be in the World Cup team. So for me, to play World Cup or to get to know that in the third game I just got to know about this. I did not even bat in that game but he assured me that you have expressed yourself. Yeah, it was just a dream come true,” Pandya revealed.

Pandya will feature in India’s T20I series against South Africa, starting from 9th June. He led Gujarat Titans to the IPL 2022 title in their debut season with a win over Rajasthan Royals in the final.

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