An impressive show on his maiden India ‘A’ tour to South Africa has put the Madhya Pradesh medium pacer in reckoning for the much-awaited series. Pandey, however, did not seem too excited about all the speculation going around.
“It feels nice that people think I am a contender for the South Africa series. But I am not thinking too much about it. There’s still a long way to go. At the moment, I am only thinking about upcoming matches. I am keen to do well in the Ranji Trophy season again,” Pandey, who finished as the highest wicket-taker (48 in eight matches) in the last Ranji season, told MiD DAY after arriving in Mumbai yesterday.
Pandey was impressive in his maiden List A match for India ‘A’, claiming four wickets against hosts South Africa ‘A’. In the two four-day games, Pandey grabbed seven and four wickets respectively to finish as the joint highest wicket-taker (11) in the unofficial ‘Tests’.
Pandey said he stuck to his strengths. “I strongly believe in my ability to bowl accurately. I was consistent with my line and length. I did not experiment too much,” said Pandey, who hails from a small town, Rewa in MP.
South African pitches are known to have good bounce and pace, but the wickets laid out for the ‘A’ tour were nowhere helpful for pacers. “They (pitches) were more like the ones we have in India. But it was a good learning experience. You had to try very hard to get wickets. My teammates were very helpful,” said Pandey.
In a way, the tour was an eye-opener for Pandey. “I realised I need to have more pace if I have to succeed at the top level. To bowl with accuracy at 135-140kmph is not easy. I will definitely work on this aspect,” Pandey signed off.
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