All-rounder Hardik Pandya is raring to go once again as he gets ready to make his India return in the upcoming series against South Africa.
The 25-year-old was rested for India’s recent tour of the West Indies following his exertions in the IPL and the 2019 World Cup but he is now fully recharged to get back into the thick of things.
“The break was important for me as the IPL was long and then the World Cup followed,” Pandya told Indian news agency IANS.
“I had a good run in both tournaments. That required my body to take some rest, as precaution is better than cure.
“That is when the call was taken by the team management that I come back fully fit for the South Africa series. Neither the team management nor I wish that I get injured. The rest has helped me a lot and my fitness has gone to the next level.”
Pandya had an excellent individual campaign at the World Cup in England where he picked up 10 wickets with the ball while chipping in with 226 runs with the bat. However, it ended painfully for both India and Pandya with the Men in Blue crashing out of the tournament after a semi-final defeat to New Zealand.
While admitting that the semi-final exit was a bitter pill to swallow, Pandya has already trained his eyes on the 2020 World Cup which takes place in Australia next year.
“The loss was difficult and we all felt the same pain, but life moves on,” he said.
“I would have been more upset if we as a team hadn’t done justice to our performance. We played as champions and except for those 30 minutes, I thought we played outstandingly and everyone was contributing and looking to excel. It is just how it is at the knockout stage.
“We have kind of moved on and we want to focus on the next World Cup and win that.”
The all-rounder will now hope to impress on his comeback when the three-match T20 series between India and South Africa gets underway. The first of the three clashes is due to take place in Dharamsala on Sunday.
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