What is the future of allrounder Hardik Pandya as Test player? It’s a question that has confounded many since India announced a jumbo squad for the ICC World Test Championship final and England series earlier this year, a list that didn’t feature Pandya.
What makes the situation even more curious is the fact that Pandya was part of the Tests against England at home but didn’t play a single game and was then completely ignored for the next international assignment. Experts are speculating that it has got to do with the fact that 27-year-old is yet to regain full fitness that will allow him to bowl freely.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra reckons that it will be a long time before we see Pandya, who bowls medium-pace, in Test cricket again.
“If there’s one place where he should play Test cricket it’s England or South Africa. These are the places where Hardik Pandya the medium pacer is required," Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
“It’s fine if he’s not there in the WTC final squad but his name is also not there even for the five Tests against England, which makes it clear that Hardik Pandya may not be seen in Test cricket for a long while," he added.
India named a 20-man squad for the WTC Final followed by five Test vs England earlier this week. And Pandya not featuring in it is a clear statement, as per Chopra, that the allrounder is not being considered for Test cricket anymore.
“Bowling is an issue (with Pandya). Even captain (Virat Kohli) said a while back we are managing his workload. Next day, Pandya said he cannot bowl. The statement is clear that he is not being considered for Test squad," Chopra said.
Pandya hasn’t been bowling at full tilt since a major back surgery in October 2019, an issue that has plagued him since England tour of 2018.