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'You do better than what I have done': Hardik Pandya reveals Kapil Dev's influence on his career

In a recent interview on ESPNCricinfo's The Cricket Monthly magazine, Pandya revealed what Kapil Dev told him on his debut, and also received the 1983 World Cup-winning captain has had on his career.
Hardik Pandya received his maiden ODI cap from Kapil Dev.(Twitter)
Published on Oct 19, 2021 07:44 AM IST

On October 16, 2016, Hardik Pandya made his ODI debut for India in a match against New Zealand at Dharamsala. The India allrounder received his maiden ODI cap from India's legendary captain Kapil Dev himself. Pandya starred with the ball in the match, picking three wickets in 7 overs and giving just 31 runs, as India bowled out the Kiwis for 190.

On a difficult batting surface, Indian skipper Virat Kohli smashed an unbeaten 85 runs in 81 balls to take India to a win.

Also read: 'Looked out of rhythm; didn't practice': Parthiv lists 2 'worries' for India despite win over England in warm-up game

In a recent interview on ESPNCricinfo's The Cricket Monthly magazine, Pandya revealed what Kapil Dev told him on his debut, and also received the 1983 World Cup-winning captain has had on his career.

"It was special to receive that cap because Kapil Dev gave it to me and told me, 'You do better than what I have done. You will succeed. Keep working hard'," Pandya said.

"Before my back surgery, it was very sweet of him to call and say: "Beta, please aap haldi ka doodh peena. Sab theekh ho jayega [Son, drink turmeric milk and everything will be all right]. Take care"," he added.

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Pandya further revealed some of the compliments he has received from India legend. "I have heard him talk about me to people and say, 'He is better than me.' I am not, but someone like him saying that gives me goosebumps and makes me proud that the best allrounder India has ever seen is saying it," Pandya said.

"So how can I describe that feeling, you know?" he added.

Meanwhile, Pandya is part of the Indian squad that will compete in the T20 World Cup led by Virat Kohli. Questions are circulating on whether he will bowl during the ICC tournament.

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