Hardik Pandya, India’s primary all-rounder, sustained a back injury during the T20I series against South Africa last year, following which he underwent surgery and was left out of cricket for nearly six months.
However, he is back in Team India for the ODI series against South Africa. The 26-year-old, talking about the injury layoffs, has said that it was mentally frustrating.
The boy from Baroda is expected to play a crucial role in the upcoming T20 World Cup to be played in Australia. In his absence, players like Shivam Dube and Washington Sundar were tried, but both failed to perform up to the mark. Ahead of the ODIs against South Africa, Hardik impressed in the DY Patil tournament, scoring 347 runs in five games at a strike rate of 232.89.
Also see – Indian Premier League 2020 schedule
Talking about the problems he faced during the injury layoff, Hardik told The Indian Express,
“I missed this atmosphere the most in these last six months, playing for the country and the feeling you get wearing the team’s colours. That had become a mental challenge and there were a lot of setbacks. I was trying to get back to full fitness quickly but that did not work out and a lot of mental pressure came at the time.”
ALSO READArticle Continues below
He also said that the good outings in the DY Patil T20s increased his confidence and he is now raring to perform well in the three-match ODI series, the first of which is a likely washout in Dharamshala due to rains.