Hardik Pandya impressed one and all with his brilliant display of batting in the first innings of the ongoing third Test between Sri Lanka and India. Pandya batted in his trademark attacking style and scored 108 runs, and, in process, reached his first Test hundred.
After his memorable knock, Pandya addressed the media after the end of day’s play.
When asked about his special liking to Malinda Pushpakumara and the over in which he smashed 26 runs, Pandya said that he didn’t want to go all out in that over and it just happened.
“Honestly, I didn’t want to go all out in that over, but I don’t know what happened. Maybe I was connecting pretty well, and scored 26 runs. It obviously feels good. I saw the scoreboard and I was batting on 80, and I was like, wow! Then I felt I was in the zone, I don’t usually look at the scoreboard, I don’t want to know what’s happening around. I just focus on how I can help the innings progress.”
On his comparisons with great Kapil Dev, Pandya said that it’s a great honour for him but his focus only on playing good cricket and become what he can.
“If someone compares you with such legends… then it feels good. Obviously, my focus is to play my cricket and just become what I can. Even if I can be 10 % of what he (Kapil) was, I will be pretty happy in my life,”
Pandya didn’t look nervous in his nervous 90s and he credited MS Dhoni for this.
“(It was the) first time in my life I have not had the 90s butterflies. I don’t remember previous centuries, but I used to have butterflies in my stomach from what I can remember. I have said when I bat I am in a different zone. I don’t think about my personal scores and achievements. It has helped me. One thing I learned from Mahi bhai is that you always put your team ahead, see the scoreboard and play accordingly. That has helped me throughout,” said Hardik after his magnificent innings at Pallekele.