India is all set to feature in the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship against New Zealand from June 18 to June 22 in England. On Friday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a 20-member squad along with four standby players.
There weren’t any surprise picks in the WTC squad as all the players who performed well for the nation in the Test series against Australia and England made it to the team. However, a few people were bewildered by the absence of a pace all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the team.
The pitches in England are known to favor the seamers and thus many were expecting the inclusion of Hardik Pandya as he is the only seam all-rounder present with India currently. The reason for the exclusion of the younger Pandya is finally revealed as it is learned that the 27-year-old is still not fit enough to contribute to the team with the ball.
Hardik hasn’t been bowling regularly for India since the 2019 World Cup as he underwent back surgery and isn’t very comfortable with the ball. Thus, the selectors weren’t in the favor of picking Hardik as a pure batsman in the purest format of the game.
Hardik Pandya has played 11 Test matches for India
“Hardik Pandya is still not in a position to bowl. The experiment of selectors to keep him during England and prepare him with bowling workload has failed miserably. He will henceforth not be considered for Test cricket,” a BCCI source was quoted as saying by My Khel.
The 27-year-old made his Test debut for India in July 2017 against Sri Lanka and has featured in 11 Test fixtures from 2017 to 2018. The right-hander has scored 532 runs at an average of 31.3 and strike rate of 73.9. As far as bowling is concerned, he has 17 Test scalps under his belt at an economy rate of 3.38 and an average of 31.1. Hardik’s last Test outing for India came against England in August 2018.
Other notable exclusions from the squad are spinner Kuldeep Yadav and speedster Bhuvneshwar Kumar. While Bhuvneshwar hasn’t played a Test match for India for more than two years now, Kuldeep hardly made it to the playing XI.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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