[caption id="attachment_659620" align="aligncenter" width="628"]<img class="size-full wp-image-659620" alt="Hardik Pandya IANS (File Photo)" src="https://www.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/hp2.jpg" width="628" height="355" /> Hardik Pandya IANS (File Photo)[/caption] <p></p> <p></p><a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/india" target="_blank">India</a> all-rounder <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/Hardik-Pandya" target="_blank">Hardik Pandya</a>, who has been rested for the Test matches against <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/Sri-Lanka" target="_blank">Sri Lanka</a>, on Monday said he asked for the rest because of niggles. The 24-year-old said he will use this break to improve his fitness so that he could perform to the best of his abilities during the <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/South-Africa " target="_blank">South Africa</a> tour. India will play three Tests, six One Day Internationals (ODI) and three Twenty20 Internationals against the Proteas. The first Test begins on January 5 in Cape Town. <p></p> <p></p>"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 CNN-News18. <p></p> <p></p>"I am lucky that I have got this break. I will train in the gym during this break and improve my fitness. I won't lie, I am really excited for South Africa series. I would like to use this break to improve my fitness for the series," he added. <p></p> <p></p>Pandya said he will remain positive ahead of the series and will play well. "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..... As you said I am the missing link in the team, who knows I might be the difference there. I am sure we are going to play very well," he said. <p></p> <p></p>When asked about the biggest turning point of his career, Pandya said, "My life changed when I got a chance to play for MI (Mumbai Indians) and then I never looked back. I had a small failure and that's why I learned to be even more professional. You need to understand that some things are bad. That's how you improve in life."