Hardik Pandya is loved by many across India, but who is the person he loves most? Pandya (probably) surprised everyone by naming Dinesh Karthik. The camaraderie (or should we call it ‘bromance’?) is mutual: in the show Breakfast with Champions earlier Karthik had mentioned Pandya, adding subsequent details: ”I spend a lot of time with Hardik and KL [Rahul]. First time we played together as a team was in Champions Trophy last year. He observed me initially but we didn’t talk. Just exchanged pleasantries.

“One day I was just in the gym and he comes to me and says, ‘You’re not that bad a guy. Everybody said you’re a horrible guy but I think you’re a decent guy.’ And that’s how it all started from there.”

Lest we forget Pandya’s confession, here is exactly what he tweeted yesterday:

 

Pandya and Karthik are both likely starters for the Test series between India and England, starting August 1 at Edgbaston. Pandya has been a crucial cog of the side as an all-rounder since Virat Kohli has insisted on playing five bowlers. Karthik, on the other hand, has been in outstanding form, though he was selected only after Wriddhiman Saha picked up yet another injury.

In a separate interview, Karthik told bcci.tv: “I am feeling nervous and a little excited. Playing Test cricket after a long time, and I am looking forward to it. Playing in England is a great challenge, and like any other player, I am as excited as I can be.”

Interestingly, Karthik is not ”playing Test cricket after a long time”: he had featured in India’s last Test as well, which was also Afghanistan’s first.