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Getting ODI cap from Kapil was amazing: Pandya

Apart from taking three wickets that won him the Man of the Match award in the first ODI against New Zealand in Dharamsala, Hardik Pandya was also able to generate more speed, which took the visitors by surprise.

By Our Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 18.10.16
  •  

Calcutta: Apart from taking three wickets that won him the Man of the Match award in the first ODI against New Zealand in Dharamsala, Hardik Pandya was also able to generate more speed, which took the visitors by surprise.

Hardik Pandya

His average speed was 138.7kph. Sharing the new ball with Umesh Yadav, Pandya in his ODI debut didn't at all let India feel the absence of Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

"Honestly, I was not looking to bowl at 140kph but was looking to pitch it in the right areas. It is pretty good that I am bowling quicker. I am now getting used to bowling in the 140s," Pandya told bcci.tv after Sunday's ODI.

Talking about the dismissal of opener Martin Guptill - one of this three scalps - Pandya said he wanted to make the batsman drive even though he was twice hit for a four in the same over.

"The ball was doing a lot during that period. It was swinging. So, I knew that if I put it in the right spots, something would happen.

"Two balls went for fours, but I had backed myself as I felt something will happen. The captain was always supporting me. He didn't tell me anything that could have made me nervous. I wanted him (Guptill) to drive and eventually got him caught in the slips," the all-rounder explained. With a wicket in his first over, Pandya went on to claim two more, having Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi dismissed for single-digit scores. "It was definitely a dream debut.

"I feel quite lucky to represent India in ODIs. This was the best thing I could have got.

"Somehow, at nets, I felt I was going to make my debut but still had some nervousness whether I will get to play the game or not," he said.

Pandya cherishes the fact that his ODI cap was handed over to him by the legendary Kapil Dev. "I will cherish this for a long time. Someone like Kapil Dev gave me my ODI cap. The feeling is quite amazing.

"Also, he made his Test debut on the same day, so I am very happy," the youngster said. By his own admission, Pandya has got stronger than before which has helped him bowl faster. "As a fast bowler, as an all-rounder, you got to be very fit. I definitely wanted to get stronger and stronger and I felt the only aspect that would help my bowling was my fitness. I worked hard for two months after the IPL."