I like to play big teams, says Hardik Pandya

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BCCI

I like to play big teams, says Hardik Pandya

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SportsCafe Desk

10/21/2017

Young Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya is thrilled about the forthcoming series with big teams like England and South Africa and is looking forward to his role in the games. Also, the Baroda lad does not want to be compared to the legends of the game and wants to play in his own way.

In October last year, when India hosted New Zealand for a limited-over series, Hardik Pandya was striving to cement his spot in the squad. Now, 12 months down the line, the same Pandya has become vital and has emerged as a much-needed all-rounder in the squad. With tougher overseas challenges coming in the way of the Indian team for the next 18 months, the 24-year-old has a significant role to play in the Virat Kohli-led team.

Moreover, Pandya is quite excited about the challenges the squad is going to face overseas and is looking forward to be instrumental for the team.

“I just want to take it day by day. I want to live in the present. I do get excited by a few series like South Africa and New Zealand. I like to play big teams. I’m pretty excited about the role I have,” Pandya told The Hindu.

“I might not do well, but that’s part and parcel of the game. It’s important to get things right before a game. If I prepare well, I don’t think anything will stop me.”

India will be facing the most difficult Tests overseas over the next two years, starting with a full tour to South Africa earlier next year followed by challenges in England and Australia. Facing these challenges, the Indian team will progress towards the 2019 World Cup, which is going to be played in England. Pandya is also getting ready for the World cup, but he is not going to change his approach.

“I don’t think much about it. For me, it won’t change. My approach will be the same as it has been for a series in India. It might be difficult, but obviously difficult things are nice. When you overcome difficult things, the happiness and the confidence you get is nice, so I look at it in the same way."

Further, ever since the young pace-bowling all-rounder started to prove his mettle, the comparisons began. Many are even gone as far as calling him “the next Kapil Dev” and the young player has been dealing with such queries for so long. However, the cricketer confidently deals with such question and says that he doesn't want to be compared with anyone, rather, he wants to play his game the way he wants to.

“As I have said earlier, if I achieve even 10 per cent of what he has in his life, it would be a huge achievement. I don’t think anyone needs to compare me with anyone. I may have sounded laughable when I said two years ago that India won’t need an all-rounder now (that I have arrived)."

"I don’t need comparisons with anyone. They are greats, let them be greats. The tag that they have, they deserve it. Let me play as Hardik Pandya. Simple as that.”

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