Hardik Pandya has revealed that he had requested the team management for a break during the Sri Lanka series as it will provide him with some timely rest ahead of the South Africa tour. The Baroda all-rounder also added that the workload is very important for any all-rounder to stay fit always.
Even though Pandya was initially named in the 16-member squad for the first two Tests, a BCCI media release, on Friday, stated that the selection committee, after consulting the team management, opted to rest him after considering his recent workload. But, on Monday, Pandya revealed that he had himself requested the board to give some days of rest in order to keep his body fit for the forthcoming South Africa tour.
"To be honest, I asked for it, because my body was not alright. I want to play cricket when I'm totally fit and I'm giving my 100% and I was not able to give that because of a few niggles here and there, which is bound to happen because of the amount of cricket which I have played over this one year," Pandya told CNN-News 18.
After the conclusion of the IPL, Pandya has been playing an incessant amount of cricket and since the start of the Champions Trophy, he has played 30 of 33 matches for India across all formats. Over the past five months, Pandya has bowled more overs than anyone else in ODI cricket (147.2 overs). Hence, Pandya's handing in a request to the team management for a small break will be instrumental for a strong comeback.
"I have played 30 ODIs, 25 T20Is and three Test matches in one-and-a-half years. 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."
India will tour South Africa after the home series against Sri Lanka, which is considered as the first big challenge for the Virat Kohli-led team. Pandya attested to that and stated that he is looking forward to those challenges.
"I'm lucky that I got this rest. Actually, rest means I'm going to train in the gym and improve my fitness and again come back properly fit. I'm pretty excited for the South Africa series. I wanted that break to get super fit for the South Africa series and then I can bounce back quickly.
"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."