Hardik Pandya’s workload management and persistent niggles have been a mystery, to say the least. The all-rounder was not selected for the 20-man contingent to face the Kiwis in the World Test Championship final and the subsequent five-match test series against England as well.
Pandya has been playing purely as a batsman for a while now since he did not bowl in the previous edition of the IPL, the Australian tour, and the home series against England as well.
While he was expected to bowl in the 14th edition of the IPL, the bowler continued to play as a batsman. The MI management claimed that a shoulder niggle was hindering his bowling at the moment.
Now the selection team have taken a call to only consider Pandya’s inclusion in the longest format of the game if he can bowl. A BCCI source elaborated the reason behind Pandya’s exclusion from the squad.
“Hardik Pandya is still not in a position to bowl. The experiment of selectors to keep him during England Tests and prepare him with bowling workload has failed miserably. He will henceforth not be considered for Test cricket,” a BCCI source told PTI.
The Indian team have been doing well without Hardik Pandya in the longest format after securing successive hard-fought series win over England and Australia to make it into the finals of the World Test Championship.
Pandya was part of the squad that toured England in 2018 and faced a 3-1 series defeat. Despite an overall poor series, he had notched a memorable five-wicket haul at Nottingham which gave India its sole win.
Apart from Pandya, there were other omissions from the squad as well which include Prithvi Shaw, Navdeep Saini and Kuldeep Yadav.
India’s squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).
Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla.
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