Hardik Pandya recalled his international debut against Australia and said that the trust Dhoni showed in him helped him settle in the Indian team. The Indian all-rounder had a poor start in his debut T20I, conceding 19 runs off his first over.
Dhoni, however, brought him for a second over, and even as Pandya conceded a six off his second delivery, he eventually ended up dismissing the dangerous Chris Lynn in the over. In his third over, he also took the wicket of Mathew Wade.
Recalling the moments after his first over, Pandya said that he thought his career was over.
"I was standing at extra-cover and I genuinely thought my career was over. I hadn't even conceded that much in my domestic career," Pandya told Harsha Bhogle in a conversation on Cricbuzz.
"When I was hit for a huge six on the very first ball (second ball of second over) -- it was around 100-105 metres, I thought I was done."
When Bhogle asked if the confidence shown from Dhoni helped him, Pandya acknowledged that the-then Indian captain wanted him to 'learn from his own experiences'.
"He wanted me to learn from my own experiences. And to be honest, I think that was something fantastic. Because of that experience, I got over by the fact that I was playing for India," said the Indian all-rounder. (ALSO READ: 'One of the most destructive Test openers: Laxman pays tribute to Sehwag)
"I now knew Mahi, Virat (Kohli), Rohit Sharma. I digested the fact that I was playing with all the cricketers who I used to admire six months ago (before debut). I'm playing with them, sitting with them, talking to them.. difficult to explain all of it."
Pandya also opened up on his relationship with Dhoni, saying that he's 'family'.
"He's a brother to me. For me, he's family. I've got so close to him in the last few years. I was surprised that he was so open and friendly. I can now say anything to him and he will take it as a joke - that is the relationship I have with him now," said the Indian all-rounder.