After making an excellent debut in international cricket, Hardik Pandya said that India A team’s coach, Rahul Dravid is the man whose guidance during the Australia tour had made him mentally stronger.
Pandya in a recent interview said, “For me, everything changed after my tour of Australia with the India A team. It is a tour that transformed me as a cricketer. I can’t but thank Rahul Dravid enough for his contribution.”
He also said, “I understood that there is a mental aspect about the game that needs to be worked upon. He (Dravid) made me mentally stronger.”
Rahul Dravid exceptionally helped Hardik Pandya in that tour. Certainly, a player with such experience like Dravid can easily lead a player to the best level.
Hardik Pandya added, “I don’t think I have learnt more than what I did during those one and half months under Rahul sir. He would tell me about things that I need to try out.”
The all rounder said, “I was mentally strong but after interacting with him, I understood that I could get even better. If my bowling is being talked about today, it’s because of Rahul sir and Paras Mhambrey.”
Hardik has already made his debut in the T20s and ODIs for team India. Now, he is confident that he can also make his debut in test cricket.
Pandya said, “The Red SG Test does more than the white kookaburra. So, as a bowler, I have more opportunity to use variations. I back myself as a proper new ball bowler and I believe that I can use the reverse swing to good effect also.”
India A bowling coach Mhambrey also saw Pandya’s statements and he has also talked about Dravid.
Mhambrey said, “Since me and Rahul go back a long way, it was easy to share the workload regarding Hardik. Rahul focussed on the mental aspect and he gave me a freehand in dealing with the technical aspect of his bowling.”
Mhambrey specified about the role which was given to him by Dravid for Pandya. He said, “What Rahul told me specifically is to not go for an overhaul of his action as the main emphasis is on performance part.”
Then Mhambrey elaborated, “I saw that there were times when his left hand (non-bowling arm) was dropping at the point of release. We fixed that. Also there was a tendency to push the ball through during release.”
India A team’s mentor lastly said, “At the end of the day, credit goes to Hardik because it is the player who needs to understand his own requirements and work hard on those aspects.”