It all started at the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.Also Read - IPL Retentions: From Harshal Patel to Hardik Pandya; Biggest Exclusions

Stylish all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has now become an integral part of the Indian squad in all the three formats, became friends with wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik in England. “I spend a lot of time with Hardik [Pandya] and KL [Rahul],” Karthik had revealed on ‘Breakfast with Champions’ hosted by Gaurav Kapur. Also Read - IPL 2022 Retention: David Warner, Shreyas Iyer, Suresh Raina to Hardik Pandya; Best Released XI Who Could Fetch Big at Mega Auction

“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,” Karthik said. Also Read - HIGHLIGHTS | IPL 2022 Retention AS IT HAPPENED: RCB Set to Retain Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell; Shreyas Iyer Could Earn Big Bucks at Auction

And now it seems the camaraderie has gone to a next level where Karthik has become Pandya’s “No. 1 Love”.

Pandya, on Saturday, posted a selfie with Karthik on Twitter and captioned it: ‘My no. 1 love’, thus displaying his affection for Karthik.

Both the players are expected to play key roles in the upcoming five-Test series against England starting Wednesday in Birmingham.

While Karthik will have the big responsibility of filling in the shoes of seasoned and regular wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha; Pandya will also have a crucial role, especially in the bowling department for the team in absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.