Dubai [UAE]: Hardik Pandya, India’s-all-rounder on Tuesday said that the time he spent out of the game has enabled him to be in good headspace ahead of the upcoming Cricket World Cup.
“It is okay. Everyone has a setback, I wanted to improve and I got some time for my body as well. I think the time I spent out is helping me right now because I am in good mind space and everything is coming right,” the International Cricket Council (ICC) quoted Pandya as saying.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named the Indian squad for the World Cup on Monday. Pandya found his place in the final fifteen and as a result, the player will be taking part in his first World Cup. Pandya said that it is important to have the confidence ahead of the upcoming World Cup.
“It is important to always have the confidence behind you because the World Cup is a big stage. It is for the first time I am playing, and for me, it was important to keep hitting the ball well because I was away from the game for some time, and coming back, it was important for me to hit it,” he added.
Pandya was handed a provisional suspension for his alleged misogynistic comments on the television show “Koffee with Karan”. The ban was later lifted and he made a return to the Indian side in the ODI series against New Zealand. But the player suffered another setback as he was ruled out of the Australian ODI series due to lower back stiffness.
Since then, Pandya has been in phenomenal form in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) and he once again displayed his attacking game in the Monday’s match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
The batsman played an unbeaten knock of 37 runs off just 16 deliveries to take his team over the line by five wickets.
The pressure was mounting on Mumbai and the team needed 22 runs off two overs, but Pandya just needed one over to finish the game off as he smashed RCB’s spinner Pawan Negi for two fours and as many sixes in the penultimate over of the match, ensuring the team’s win.
“I guess I’ve been doing this for four years now, that’s my role, any team I play for. I’ve been practising the same at the nets. It’s all about situations, you play according to situations, and if you’re smart enough, you’ll more often than not get the result that you desire,” he said after the match against RCB.
India takes on New Zealand and Bangladesh in the warm-up matches before the World Cup.
The Men in Blue take on South Africa in their opening match of the World Cup on June 5.