Veteran Australia cricketer Ian Chappell has raised questions on Team India’s selection strategy as he feels that the Asian Giants need Hardik Pandya in Test XI to find the right balance. Hardik regained his bowling fitness last year ahead of IPL and last played a Test match way back in 2018 against England in Southampton. Pandya’s fitness has been under the scanners for the past couple of years as the BCCI tracks his workload management quite closely.
Chappell isn’t impressed with Pandya’s absence from the Test set-up and asked who has taken the call of keeping him out - the team management or the medical staff.
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“I don’t understand why Hardik Pandya isn’t in the Indian team? People keep telling me he can’t bowl so much. Again, you are listening to the medical people or have a chat with the cricket people," Chappell told ESPNCricinfo.
The legendary cricketer pointed out that the inclusion of Cameron Green gave the right balance to Australia in the third Test and India need the same which Pandya can bring.
“If Pandya wants to play, he should be in that side. He is a damn good batsman, he bowls pretty decently, he is a damn good fielder. To get the right balance, Australia needed Cameron Green in India and I think India needs Hardik Pandya," he added.
Chappell suggested that having Green in the XI allowed Australia play three frontline spinners without hampering the balance.
“It was a good break for Australia having Cameron Green there because it does give them the opportunity to play three spinners," he said.
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Pandya has played 11 Tests so far in his career in which he scored 532 runs and claimed 17 wickets including a fifer.
He further pointed out what worked well for Australia in Indore as he suggested that first innings lead helped Smith and Co. to take control over the game.
“The key to it in my opinion was bowling India out cheaply in the first innings. Once they did that, they got themselves a chance to a decent lead. It wasn’t a huge lead but on this pitch a pretty useful one. And then in the second innings only having to chase a low score."
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