The 25-year-old, who was supposed to travel to New Zealand for three one-dayers, is now expected to feature for Baroda in their sixth-round clash against Mumbai starting December 14. If Pandya, who last played a first-class match for Baroda in the 2016-17 season, manages to prove his fitness against Mumbai, he can very well fly to Australia for the final two Tests of the four-match series, according to Sportstarlive.
However, with the 2019 World Cup less than six months away, the selectors wouldn't want to take any chance by rushing him back into international cricket.
Pandya hasn't played for India since his breakdown at the Asia Cup where he injured his back. As a result, he wasn't available for the multi-format home series against Windies. Pandya also didn't feature in the three Twenty20 Internationals against Australia and hasn't been named in the squad for the Test series which will get underway in Adelaide from December 6.
Meanwhile, the selectors are expected to pick Pandya's replacement from the four-day India A squad who are already in New Zealand. The third and final four-day encounter will be played in Whangarei from November 30, while the 50-over series will get underway from December 7.
First Published: November 29, 2018, 8:25 PM IST