Needed the break af­ter WC, says Pandya

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport -

Hardik Pandya has said that he needed the break to attain a higher level of fitness ahead of the home sea­son. It was im­por­tant for me (the break) as the IPL was long and then the World Cup fol­lowed and I had a good run in both the tour­na­ments. So, I was look­ing to give it my best and that re­quired my body to take some rest as pre­cau­tion is bet­ter than cure and that is when the call was taken by the team man­age­ment that I come back fully fit for the South Africa se­ries,” he said.

Nei­ther the team man­age­ment nor I wish that I get in­jured. The rest has helped me a lot and my fitness has gone to the next level. I started do­ing pi­lates and that has helped me a lot. This isn’t some­thing very usual be­tween crick­eters. So, that is why I wanted to see how it works and it has worked re­ally well. This last one month, I trained twice a day. It was im­por­tant that I try some­thing new to im­prove my back. It was im­por­tant for me and my game to take this break,” he ex­plained. Asked if he has any spe­cific goals go­ing into the se­ries against South Africa, Pandya replied: “To be hon­est, I don’t keep goals be­cause I let some­thing out of the box hap­pen.”

In­dia ‘A’ inch closer to vic­tory:

In­dia ‘A’ edged closer to a re­sound­ing vic­tory over South Africa ‘A’ in the first un­of­fi­cial Test de­spite a rain-hit day three in which only 20 overs could be bowled. In­dia cap­tured four wick­ets to re­duce South Africa ‘A’ to 179 for 9, who go into day four with a pal­try lead of 40 runs in the sec­ond in­nings. Ma­jor­ity of overs were lost at the Green­field sta­dium due to overnight rain and a wet out­field. In­dia ‘A’ had made 303 in re­ply to SA A’s first in­nings score of 164; Brief Sores: South Africa ‘A’: 164 all out in 51.5 overs and 179 for 9 in 55 overs (Zubayr Hamza 44, Hein­rich Klaasen 48; Wi­aan Mul­der 46, S Nadeem 3/17, Jalaj Sax­ena 2/22, K Gowtham 1/52). In­dia ‘A’: 303 all out in 87.5 overs (Shub­man Gill 90, Jalaj Sax­ena 61 not out, Shardul Thakur 34; Lungi Ngidi 3/50, Dane Piedt 3/84).

Thi­r­i­manne, Shanaka to lead Sri Lanka on Pak­istan tour:

Lahiru Thi­r­i­manne and

Da­sun Shanaka were named Sri Lanka’s One-day In­ter­na­tional and Twenty20 In­ter­na­tional cap­tains for the up­com­ing tour of Pak­istan af­ter 10 play­ers opted out of the se­ries over se­cu­rity rea­sons. Kusal Mendis was un­avail­able for se­lec­tion due to an in­jury.

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