He was one of the bright spots in India's 72-run loss to South Africa in Cape Town. And now he has reassured all the fans back home ahead of the second Test in Centurion, starting Saturday (January 13). The message is from all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
At Newlands stadium, Indian batsmen failed against a disciplined Proteas pace bowling attack as they were unable to chase down 208 on Monday (January 8). Now, the action shifts to Supersport Park in Centurion.
Also read: SA-India series schedule, squads
India have to win to keep the series alive. But it is easier said than done. Most likely, they will again encounter a pitch which will assist fast bowlers. The home team will be without the injured Dale Steyn but they have enough replacements to fill the void.
In the first innings of Cape Town Test, it was Pandya who brought some respectability to India's total. Thanks to his brilliant 93, the visitors reduced South Africa's lead. India were all out for 209 in reply to hosts' 286. In second essay Proteas fell for 130 and India folded for 135 in fourth innings.
After the defeat, Pandya took to the micro-blogging website Twitter to assure the fans that they would come back "harder and stronger" in the second Test.
"Grateful for all your wishes and support throughout the first test. Disappointed that we fell short the way we did. We will come back harder and stronger in Pretoria! #SAvIND," the right-hander tweeted today (January 9) to his 1.73 million followers.
After the match, captain Virat Kohli had praised Pandya for his "brilliant" knock.
"The mindset really matters when you travel away from home. You need to be positive in defence and leaving, and cash in on scoring. We believe in Pandya, he always wants to do well, even away from home. He showed a lot of character and the knock was brilliant," he said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
India have never won a Test series in South Africa. They have managed only two wins in 18 Tests.