First International hundreds are always special. And especially when it comes on time when your team needs the most.
Pandya came to Test cricket with no century in official cricket. He made his debut in Twenty20 cricket and was first noticed when he played for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Pandya came in to bat with India in trouble at 322 for 6. A history repeating of Laxman and Ojha partnership against Australia happened on the day- this time it was Pandya and Yadav.
He went from 38 off 54 to 108 off 96. When asked about his last hundred, Pandya said, “I scored in under-19. I am 24, no 23. So, some four-five years back, I scored my hundred. Actually, I don’t remember when I scored the hundred.”
The most striking feature was that he was not nervous in his 90s. He credited that to the mentoring of former Indian captain MS Dhoni.
“(It was the) first time in my life I have not had the 90s butterflies. I don’t remember previous centuries, but I used to have butterflies in my stomach from what I can remember. I have said when I bat I am in a different zone. I don’t think about my personal scores and achievements. It has helped me. One thing I learned from Mahi bhai is that you always put your team ahead, see the scoreboard and play accordingly. That has helped me throughout,” he said.