Allrounder Hardik Pandya has lost his place in India Test squad and will not be considered for future red-ball squads unless he can start bowling at full tilt again. The message to Pandya seems to be clear that he’s not required in the Test team purely as a batter.
On Friday, BCCI named a 20-man squad for the tour of England where India will first cross swords with New Zealand in the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship in Southampton. After that, they will prepare for a five-match Test series against England starting August 4.
“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 squad also includes the likes of KL Rahul and Wriddhiman Saha - a duo that is currently dealing with health issues and there selection is subject to fitness clearance. While Rahul recently underwent a surgery after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis, Saha, has contracted coronavirus during the now suspended IPL 2021.
Among those who have been dropped are out-of-form spinner Kuldeep Yadav and pacer Navdeep Saini.
The India squad, led by Virat Kohli, is expected to depart for England later this month.
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.