Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly on Monday confirmed a piece of news that would leave the Indian fans disappointed. He said ace all-rounder Hardik Pandya is still not in shape to play cricket, not even the domestic format. Hardik was expected to make it to the Indian squad for the ongoing tour of New Zealand after a break since last September because of a back problem. He underwent surgery in October and is still recovering.
The 26-year-old was included in the India ‘A’ squad for an ODI series against New Zealand but was ruled out later owing to injury. He was seen bowling to Team India batters in the nets ahead of the ODI against Australia in Mumbai earlier this month. He looked in rhythm and it was thought he could be in the national side soon. But the BCCI chief’s updates have cleared the air.
The 47-year-old former India captain clarified that Hardik was not fit for even a domestic match. He added that the Baroda all-rounder was undergoing training at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and that keeps him out of the tours of New Zealand — either of the senior or the ‘A’ team. Hardik now could aim to return to 22 yards in the Indian Premier League 2020.
It may be noted here that Hardik made a comeback to international cricket in January last year in New Zealand following a break because of injury and a television controversy.
Hardik Pandya last played for India in September
Hardik last played for India in the T20I series against South Africa at home in September. His last ODI match was in the semi-final of the World Cup in England while his last Test match was also in England in August-September 2018. Hardik has played 11 Tests, 54 ODIs and 40 T20Is in which he has scored over 1,700 runs and taken 109 wickets.
India, who are leading the T20I series 2-0 and need one more win to clinch it, will be playing a two-Test series against the Black Caps starting late February. They play a three-ODI series after the T20Is. The visitors are yet to announce their Test squad.
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