Dubai: Heading into the T20 World Cup, the Virat Kohli-led side are top contenders and if there is one flaw in the armoury – that is allrounder Hardik Pandya. The star India allrounder picked up an injury during the IPL and has not bowled since. Even Shardul Thakur was drafted in the T20 WC squad as a backup for Hardik. Now, there are question marks over Hardik will feature in the XI or not.

But things could change for Hardik with MS Dhoni joining the side as a mentor. Hardik has played a lot under the leadership of Dhoni and has admitted that no one has understood him better than the CSK skipper.

“He was. MS was someone who understood me from the start: how I function, what kind of a person I am, what are the things I don’t like, everything,” Hardik told ESPNCricinfo.

Claiming that Dhoni knows him best and is like his brother, Hardik confessed that Dhoni has always been there with a shoulder for him. “He knows what kind of an individual I am. He knows me quite deep. I am very close to him. He is the only person who can make me calm. When all this happened, he knew that I needed support. I just needed a shoulder, which he provided multiple times in my cricketing career. I never saw him as MS Dhoni the greatest. For me, Mahi is my brother. I respect and admire the fact that he was there when I needed him the most,” he added.

India takes on England on Monday in their first warm-up game and then play Australia in the next practise match before their tournament opener against Pakistan.