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Not wearing India jersey became a mental challenge: Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya last played an ODI against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final in Manchester and his last international game was a T20 against the Proteas in Bengaluru in September last year.

By: Sports Desk |
March 12, 2020 6:49:35 pm
Hardik Pandya Hardik Pandya last played for India in a T20 in September 2019. (File Photo)

Hardik Pandya, speaking on the sidelines of the washed out 1st ODI between India and South Africa in Dharamsala on Thursday, said he has battled some mental setbacks during his time away from the team.

“I missed this atmosphere in these past six months, playing for India and the feeling that you get wearing the team’s colours. That had become mental challenge and there were a lot of setbacks,” Pandya said during his appearance on ‘Chahal TV’ ahead of the series-opener.

“I was trying to get back to full fitness quickly but that did not work out and there was a lot of mental pressure at that time. But everything went fine, the rehabilitation went well and a lot of people helped me,” Pandya said.

Pandya, 26, underwent a successful surgery in October last year to treat an acute lower-back injury, which kept him out of action for six months.

He last played an ODI against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final in Manchester and his last international game was a T20 against the Proteas in Bengaluru in September last year.

Rain did not allow Pandya to step out on to the Dharamsala turf as part of the India XI on Thursday, but Pandya has proved his fitness in the DY Patil Tournament, an invitational T20 tournament in which he scored two centuries, the second of which was an unbeaten 55-ball 158 in which he smashed 20 sixes.

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