Mumbai, April 24 (IANS) With legend Sachin Tendulkar turning 47 on Friday, the whole cricket fraternity has been wishing him and Mumbai Indians have tweeted a special message that the Little Master had given to India all-rounder Hardik Pandya when the latter was still looking to break into the national team.

Taking to Twitter, Mumbai Indians wrote: “The way you’re playing and the kind of potential and talent that you have, you’ll play for India in another one to one and a half years.” – #Sachin to @hardikpandya7 in 2015! #HappyBirthdaySachin #OneFamily @sachin_rt.”

Pandya is now an integral part of the Indian team and made his return to the side for the series against South Africa which had to be called off midway due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The all-rounder underwent surgery in October last year on his back before undergoing rehabilitation and passing a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy.

Speaking to IANS during rehabilitation, Pandya had said that the surgery was the need of the hour.

“I was managing the back, tried everything possible not to get into surgery or anything. After trying everything, we came to the conclusion that it wasn’t working. I noticed that I was not able to give my 100 per cent and that meant I was not doing justice to myself and the team. That is when I decided to go for the surgery.

“To be honest, right now I feel very good. We are working very properly. After surgery it is not easy, so we are trying to ensure that we cover all the areas. But everything said and done, injuries aren’t something you can control. I have noticed this after playing for 4-5 years that even if I don’t wish to get injured and take the necessary precautions, injuries is something which is a part and parcel of a sportsperson’s life. You cannot say I will not get injured and have to take it how it comes. So right now, I am trying to come back strong,” he had said.

–IANS

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