TEAM INDIA is set to take on Sri Lanka in the first Test at Kolkata, starting November 16. In the squad announced last week, the Selection Committee did not name Hardik Pandya and stated that the all-rounder had been rested for the first two Tests.
While the news created a buzz, Hardik Pandya has revealed that he had asked the board for a rest during the Sri Lanka tour. In an interaction with CNN-News 18, the promising youngster mentioned that he is looking to recover from some niggles.
“To be honest, I asked for it. My body wasn’t up for it, I have some niggles because of the amount of cricket that I have played. I want to play cricket when I am totally up for it, when I can give my 100 per cent. I am lucky that I have got this break. I will train in the gym during this break and improve my fitness. I won’t lie, I am really excited for the South Africa series. I would like to use this break to improve my fitness for the series. I have played 30 ODIs, 25 T20s and 3 Tests in last one year. If they are saying I have played less cricket then I want to tell them ‘I am sorry.’ As an all-rounder it’s even more difficult.”
Since the start of the Champions Trophy in England, Pandya has played 30 of 33 matches that India have played across formats. The Surat-lad further justified his decision and said,
“I have not played this much cricket in my total cricketing career in such a short time. As an allrounder, it’s difficult. I do my bowling, I do my batting, I do fielding as well, and managing my workload is very important right now because I have not played much cricket in my life.”
Following the three Tests against Sri Lanka, the men in blue will fly South Africa for three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is. And, Pandya is confident that his side will perform well against the No.1 Test side.
“People keep on talking about away series. People keep on talking about England tours, South Africa tours, Australia tours, which is important, which is hard. I like these kinds of challenges I keep on getting in my life. That keeps me going all the time. It may be an important thing for me, important to have an allrounder who can contribute in bowling and batting both. I might be the difference, let’s see. I’ve never played in South Africa. I’m pretty sure we’re going to do well.”
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