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Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya says he asked for rest in Test series against Sri Lanka

Ever since he made his arrival on international scene, Hardik Pandya has proved to be vital for India in every format with both bat and ball. He was always looked upon to be the next Kapil Dev. However people doubted him in early days of his career, but Hardik has now dispelled all the doubts and is the all-rounder India were looking for, for many years.

This year Hardik hasn”t missed a match for India when he has been picked barring an odd game due to injury. He has opted out of first two tests against Sri Lanka. Many fans thought it was because of injury that he sustained in 3rd T20I vs New Zealand. Hardik tried to stop a ball that was going like a tracer bullet and injured his left hand in the process. He immediately called the physio and looked in agonizing pain. However, he completed the over and won the match for India.

He has cleared the air regarding the reason for his rest from first 2 tests. Hardik says he wasn”t ruled out because of that injury but himself opted out because his body wasn”t ready for it.

“To be honest, I asked for it. My body wasn’t up to it. I was getting 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 percent,” Pandya told CNN News 18.

“I am lucky that I have got this break. I will train in the gym during this break and improve my fitness. I am really excited about South Africa series. I would like to use this break to improve my fitness,” added Pandya, who will be at the NCA to improve strength and conditioning.

Pandya is looking forward to South African tour next January which is perhaps considered India”s toughest cricketing assignment.

“Yes, I am really excited. People are talking about it. It’s a much-hyped series. I like challenges in life, they keep me going. Who knows I might be the difference there. I am sure we are going to play very well,” he said.

– by Atharva Apte