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Hardik Pandya : It was a dream debut

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SportsCafe Desk

Last Monday at 5:49 PM

Hardik Pandya, who made a great start to his ODI career with figures of 3 for 31 in the first ODI at Dharamsala, has called it a “dream debut”. The pacer thanked skipper MS Dhoni for his support and also expressed his elation at having been handed the cap by the legendary Kapil Dev.

Hardik Pandya's selection into the ODI squad for the New Zealand series after being left out of the Zimbabwe tour and the two-match T20 series against West Indies had raised many a question. The pacer had not performed either with bat or ball in the India A tour of Australia as well. But, he answered critics at least for now with a wonderful spell of fast bowling yesterday. The pacer removed opener Martin Guptill before accounting for Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi as well.

Speaking about the match, Pandya said, "The ball was doing a lot; it was swinging. I knew if I put it in the right spots, something would happen," reported

"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," he explained about his gameplan.

The all-rounder received a dream debut not just on the field but before that as well – he was handed his cap by India's World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev.

Speaking about it, Pandya said, "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.

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.


Pandya also revealed that he had worked very hard on his fitness over the past two months and credited it as the key to his improved show.

"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.

"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 (after IPL)," he said.