Felt I will make my debut, but was nervous too: Hardik Pandya
Updated - Oct 17, 2016 1:27 pm
All-rounder Hardik Pandya had a dream debut in the first ODI against New Zealand. He was handed his ODI cap by legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev. No wonder the boy from Baroda was ecstatic about his debut. More surprises came his way. Skipper MS Dhoni threw his trump card when he handed the new ball to Pandya. He did not disappoint one bit. The all-rounder was successful in getting rid of Martin Guptill in his very first over.
He finished with figures of 3/31 and eventually was awarded the Man of the Match for his performance. Speaking to the BCCI.tv after the match, Hardik reflected back on his debut and spoke on his thought process. He revealed that he wanted Martin Guptill to get on the front foot and drive. He noticed the ball doing a bit and that is where he backed his chances.
“The ball was doing a lot; it was swinging. I knew if I put it in the right spots, something would happen. Two balls went for fours, but I had backed myself that something will happen. The captain was always supporting me. He didn’t tell me anything that could have made me nervous. I wanted him (Guptill) to drive and eventually got him caught in the slips,” said the all-rounder.
Hardik didn’t shy away from admitting it to be a dream debut. He added that he had a gut feeling of getting his game but was nervous at the same time. “It was definitely a dream debut. I feel quite lucky to represent India in ODIs. This was the best thing I could have got. Somehow, in the nets, I felt I was going to make my debut, but still had some nervousness whether I will get to play or not,” said Pandya.
The youngster was pleased to get the ODI cap from none other than the legend himself – Kapil Dev. “I will cherish this for a long time. Someone like Kapil Dev gave me my ODI cap. The feeling is quite amazing. He made his Test debut on the same day, so I am very happy,” said Pandya on receiving his ODI cap from Kapil Dev,
Hardik Pandya further added that his aim wasn’t to bowl quick but keep the lines intact. Gradually he built up the pace to clock 140s. “Honestly, I was not looking to bowl 140s, but was looking to pitch in the right areas. It is pretty good that I am bowling quick. I am now getting used to bowling in the 140s,” conceded Pandya.
He also emphasized the importance of fitness as a fast bowler and an all-rounder. Pandya remarked that he wishes to get stronger as time progresses. “As a fast bowler, as an all-rounder, you got to be very fit. I definitely wanted to get stronger and I felt the only aspect that would help my bowling was my fitness. I worked hard for two months,” he concluded.