The Mumbai Indians’ (MI) camp is renowned for treating its associates more like a family member. They have had some of the biggest names in world cricket serving their camp, who continue to be an integral part of their large unit.
Legends such as Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting have donned the jersey as a player, captain and also mentorship roles within the MI setup.
It becomes easier for budding cricketers to nurture their talent and progress to the higher level in the sport in the presence of such legends of the game.
India’s marquee all-rounder, Hardik Pandya, was a discovery of the Mukesh Ambani-owned franchise, back in 2015.
During a recent interaction, Pandya hailed the former MI coach, Ponting, for taking care of him the most and also tagged their relationship as that of a father and son.
“Ricky Ponting was someone who looked after me the best. He looked after me like a child. I used to feel like he was my father figure there,” Pandya told Harsha Bhogle during a chat with Cricbuzz.
“Ricky taught me so many things, he taught me situations, he taught me mindset, how strong you should be,” added the swashbuckling Baroda batsman.
“As a new boy in 2015, I used to sit next to the hoardings. Ricky used to sit down with me and speak about the game. (With all these conversations) I started learning quickly,” Pandya opined.
Later during the conversation, Pandya opened up on the nature of India’s premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who also was a discovery of the Mumbai-based franchise.
Both went on to become an indispensable part of the Indian lineup in all formats. The two made international debuts in the 2015-2016 season during the Australian tour.
Also, both Bumrah and Hardik, along with captain Rohit Sharma, were retained by MI, ahead of the mega-auctions of 2018.
“Jassi (Bumrah) is a very different character. He’s calm, but he’s someone who likes to be left alone. If he has to talk to someone then he’ll initiate the conversation,” the 26-year old said.
“I can never be like him even if I try. He’s knowledgeable, well-spoken, thinking 20 times before speaking. But he’s someone who I enjoy being with. We have got success together and have genuinely shared success,” concluded Pandya.