“At least 10 of you should play for India,” Hardik Pandya told youngsters in Baroda in a pep-talk interaction along with his brother Krunal Pandya.
Speaking about his experience and drawing inspirational messages from his India teammates, Hardik said ‘it will be fun’ if some of the youngsters from Baroda play with him for India in 10 years.
“At least 10 of you should play for India. Otherwise, I will be disappointed. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to play with me in 10 year’s time. It will be fun,” Hardik told the youngsters.
“I was talking to Virat (Kohli) two days ago. I asked him something that I never asked him before. I asked him ‘What is the reason behind your excellence?’.
“He sent me a message. ‘Your attitude is fine, everything is fine. Just you have to keep one thing in mind to reach and have that kind of consistency. You have to have a great hunger to become No. 1 in the right way. Not by pushing anyone down but based on your hard work and merit you should set becoming No. 1 as your goal’.
“Then I came to know how he is as consistent as he is.”
Hardik then quoted the examples of former India captain MS Dhoni and his Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma, saying they don’t want to be No. 2, but if they get there, they don’t have a problem with it.
“Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni they are extremely consistent because they don’t want to come 2nd but if they do, they don’t have a problem with it. They will once again begin their work to become the No. 1,” he said.
“You have strive to be the best. If you’re a bowler, you have to be the best. If you’re training, then you have to be eager to train. In life, you need to compete with yourself.”
Hardik has played 11 Tests, 54 ODIs and 40 T20Is for India.