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The Indian team is touring Sri Lanka for three Tests, 5 ODIs and a T20I and they began their campaign in a perfect manner when they clinched a victory in first Test at Galle by 304 runs. All-rounder Hardik Pandya made his Test debut in this match and scored an aggressive half-century in first innings. Pandya while talking to Cheteshwar Pujara in a video by BCCI.tv revealed what he felt on making debut for India in the longest format. Excerpts.
Pujara- I have Hardik Pandya with me who made a remarkable Test debut. It’s a dream of every cricketer to play Test cricket and you made a debut and played wonderful innings and got a fifty. How do you feel about that?
Hardik- It feels really good. As a youngster, you dream to play Test cricket and when you get the opportunity and you do well, it always feels good. I was really proud of myself.
Pujara- What are the different preparations you did for Test matches?
Hardik- As an international cricketer, you need to be really smart. I feel to play all the three formats you need to switch from the mind. You don’t change your skills much. The way I was batting I thought I was batting in ODI only. You take time and work on your bowling, batting and patience.
Pujara- Tell us about your Pull shot.
Hardik- I was proud of myself in pull shots because I know I don’t play pull shot that well.
Pujara- Who plays short ball well? You (Hardik) or me (Pujara)?
Hardik- Obviously Pujara Bhai. He pulls it so well. He can easily hit 100m in any ground.
— BCCI (@BCCI) 31 July 2017
Pujara- I have always felt that after Yuvraj Singh if someone can hit six sixes in an over, it’s Hardik Pandya. What do you think about that?
Hardik- I don’t think about hitting six sixes, I just focus on what team requires.
Pujara- Who is your favourite all-rounder?
Hardik- I have said it a number of times that it’s Jaques Kallis. What he has done for South Africa is amazing. Be it scoring quick runs or holding on to the innings.
Pujara- When did it all started? When did you start learning the game?
Hardik- I was six and a half. I saw my brother Krunal playing cricket and I used to trouble him during practices and then Kiran More sir saw me and suggested to take up cricket.
Pujara- I feel that he is going to be the next rockstar in the Indian team. Do you think it’s true?
Hardik- I can’t say I’m a rock star or not but I like changing things like my hair colour and take up different styles.
Pujara- What do you like apart from cricket?
Hardik- I love cars and pop corns. I watch movies because I love cheese pop corn and I can’t get them anywhere else.
Pujara- What do you think about the challenges overseas?
Hardik- The things are not easy in South Africa. I’m gonna focus what is required.