This is my best hundred: Pandey

 After his exceptional 115 on the third day of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Punjab on Saturday, the 20-year-old said nerves, as much as anything else, had prevented him from having a successful debut season last year.

 “To be honest, I was a little nervous playing for Karnataka last season,” he observed. “This time around, I am a lot more comfortable. I am better off for playing last year, and now I am determined to avoid those mistakes of the past.”

 Pandey threw light on his general approach to batting, and to this innings in particular. “The idea was to try and bat long, get my eye in. This was a very crucial match for the team, our first match in a knockout situation. I was always confident we would get past their total, but it was important to spend time in the middle.

 “I didn’t go out with pre-meditated ideas. If the ball was there to hit, I hit it because that’s how I normally play, but there was no conscious effort to transfer the pressure on to the bowlers.”

 Pandey’s tally of 668 runs in seven matches is next only to Parthiv Patel’s season-high 727. “Today’s hundred has to be my best of the season because it came in a crunch game,” said Pandey, who made 194 against Uttar Pradesh in the season-opener and followed it up with 110 against Baroda in Vadodara.

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