Clearing the ambiguity regarding his absence from the Indian squad for the first two Tests against Sri Lanka, star all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Monday said he himself had requested the team management for rest since he was not feeling 100 percent fit.

Pandya was included in the squad before being rested. The BCCI media release did not have clarity whether it was a case of fatigue or injury.

“To be honest, I asked for it. My body wasn’t up to it. I was getting niggles because of the amount of cricket that I have played. I want to play cricket, when I am totally up for it, when I can give my 100 percent,” Pandya told a television channel.

“I am lucky that I have got this break. I will train in the gym during this break and improve my fitness. I am really excited for South Africa series. I would like to use this break to improve my fitness,” added Pandya, who will be at the NCA to improve strength and conditioning.

Pandya is hopeful that he can make a difference for the team in South Africa with his all-round abilities.

“Yes, I am really excited. People are talking about it.

It’s a much-hyped series. I like challenges in life, they keep me going. Who knows I might be the difference there. I am sure we are going to play very well,” he said.