Delighted after his maiden call-up into the Indian cricket team, all-rounder Hardik Pandya said that India A coach Rahul Dravid's guidance during the Australia tour has made him "mentally stronger".
"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. I understood that there is a mental aspect about the game that needs to be worked upon. He (Dravid) made me mentally stronger," Hardik told during an interaction.
"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. 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 (India A bowling coach)."
Terming it as the biggest day of his life, Pandya said: "Playing Test cricket is ultimate for anyone and I am no different. Yes, this is my biggest achievement till date. In fact, yesterday the Baroda team was travelling to Raipur for their Ranji game. I told the boys that let me stay back in Mumbai for a day. If I don't get selected, I will join you guys next day. It was the happiest moment."
Speaking about his batting, Hardik is realistic about his position in case he gets a look-in in the playing XI.
"I used to bat at No 3 for Baroda and then I have been batting at No 5 in Ranji Trophy. I have to be realistic that in the Indian team, I can't bat at No 5. I would be probably batting at No 8 or No 9. I am perfectly fine with it. I am ready to bat at any position," Hardik said and there was an element of conviction in his statement.
Hardik has played and ODIs for India at the highest level and he is confident that he can also make a mark in the Test cricket.