Rajvardhan Hangargekar, an integral member of India’s 2022 Under-19 World Cup winning squad, has said that he has always been a die-hard fan of former India captain MS Dhoni. Hangargekar was picked up by Chennai Super Kings in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League auctions for INR 1.5 crores.
India’s 19-year-old all-rounder Rajvardhan Hangargekar said that he was “really happy” when he was bought by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Day 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions. His base price of INR 20 lakhs attracted bids from the likes of Mumbai Indians (MI) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), but eventually it was CSK who came away with the winning bid to secure his services.
In a video posted on the official IPL website, Hangargekar stated he has always been a die-hard fan of MS Dhoni. Hangargekar also mentioned that his father, who died in 2020 due to Covid-19, always wanted him to play for CSK.
“I have always been a die-hard fan of MS Dhoni, my father used to like CSK a lot, he really loved Dhoni and he always wanted me to play for CSK. I am really happy to play with his franchise, so I am really happy about it. He (Dhoni) can teach me about the mindset, I will ask him about things because this chance won’t come that often,” Hangargekar said in the video published on the IPL website.
“Everyone wants to play in the IPL, by the time my name came up in the auction, that was the amount I got excited about. When MI and CSK were fighting it out for me in the auction, that was a great moment for me.”
Speaking about his experience in the Under-19 World Cup, Hangargekar said, “Winning the U19 World Cup was a really good moment for all of us, this thing we will cherish for our entire life.”
Despite starting off as an off-spinner, Hangargekar clocked 141.7 kph during India’s Under-19 World Cup semi-final against Australia. When he was 14-years-old, he was selected in Maharashtra’s Under-16 squad for the 2016/17 Vijay Merchant Trophy after switching to fast bowling. He can also hit big, and showcased his talent in the Under-19 World Cup campaign.
Talking about his natural playing style, Hangargekar stated, “My mindset is to play like West Indies cricketers, I like to bowl fast and I like to hit big sixes. I have been working on my strength, I just want to watch the ball and hit it beyond the boundary.”