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India A vs Australia: Chance for Hardik Pandya to Impress

Press Trust of India | Updated: February 16, 2017, 5:46 PM IST
India A vs Australia: Chance for Hardik Pandya to Impress

File photo of Hardik Pandya during practice (Getty Images)

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Mumbai: Ready to wait for his turn to make his debut in Test cricket, India A skipper Hardik Pandya said the warm-up game against Australia on Friday would be a great opportunity for fringe players to impress the selectors ahead of the four-Test series.

"It will be good opportunity for all of us, specially me to perform and get the opportunity to play in the Test series, it will be a good opportunity for the youngsters as well, who are there to show what they have," Hardik told reporters in Mumbai.

"We are not treating it as a practice game, it's an opportunity for all of us to do something amazing and get recognised in the selectors eyes."

Hardik, who has been dubbed as a limited-overs expert, has improved as a seamer and a good show against the visitors may force skipper Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble to keep him in their plans for the first two Test matches.

"I have played against Australia A. This will be an amazing experience. Australians, you all know how they are and how aggressive they are, it will be nice competition for all of us," he added.

The Gujarat all-rounder has played seven ODIs and 19 T20s but is yet to make his Test debut despite being picked in the squad against England and Bangladesh.

Asked how it has helped him to be a part of the team, Hardik said, "I feel its a learning curve for me, I should be learning lots of things staying with the team and it always helps. I am improving my game day by day. That was the only reason that I thought I made a comeback after a poor IPL. I want to focus on improving my game," he said.

With Kumble and Kohli backing him as a seam all-rounder, Hardik said it has boosted his confidence.

"Definitely it helps a lot when someone like Virat bhai and Anil 'Sir' (back me), it grows your confidence when two legends like them support, you know that your captain is backing you, it is always helpful. I am learning a lot of things from them and other players. It helps a lot," he said.

"Everything comes on the right time. Whenever they feel that I am ready to play Test cricket I will be playing the game. But as I said Test cricket is something amazing to learn, so I am learning new tricks in my game and I am just trying to improve.

"I will be pretty happy if I make a debut (in the series against Australia). As I said opportunity will come when it suppose to come. It is all about process and I am doing it right now," he said.

Squads:

Australia: Steve Smith (Capt), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Stephen O'Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade

India ‘A’: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Akhil Herwadkar, Priyank Kirit Panchal, Shreyas Iyer, Ankit Bawne, Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan (WK), Shahbaz Nadeem, Krishnappa Gowtham, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Ashok Dinda, Mohammed Siraj, Rahul Singh, Baba Indrajith.

First Published: February 16, 2017, 5:46 PM IST
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