Ever since the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced 15-member squad for Test series against South Africa, the Shubman Gill’s inclusion and KL Rahul’s exclusion have been the biggest talk of the town. Meanwhile, there are few names like Hardik Pandya who has gone under the shadow.
Virat Kohli’s go-to man in tense situations was supposedly given rest in the West Indies series, but now he will be feeling unlucky to be left out from the team. Pandya, who has been troubled by back injuries in past, was hoping get back in the scheme of things against the Proteas almost a year after his last appearance in the format in England.
Now one question that will be running around in the minds of cricket fans is will Hardik Pandya be seen again in white jersey for India? The belligerent all-rounder made his Test debut for against England in late 2016. He scored his maiden Test century in third and final Test against Sri Lanka in 2017 and most importantly this was also his maiden international century. Thus far, Kun-Fu Pandya has 532 runs and 17 wickets to his name in 11 appearances in Test matches.
Rising Competition- a reason to worry for Hardik
India, the number one team in Test team has performed exceptionally well in the Test matches in last one and a half year. All the players stepped in and capitalized on the chances given to them. A recent example is of Hanuma Vihari who had a brilliant series against West Indies. Apart from him there are various players who are waiting for just one chance to put their name in the selector's list for the upcoming games So, with all players showcasing good performances and in line for Indian team, the competition has increased a lot. With this rising competition, Hardik’s journey in Test cricket will be tough now onwards.
The stylish all-rounder was once compared with former Indian skipper, Kapil Dev. A lot of people have rated him very highly and deemed him to be the all-rounder India was looking for since long. The Indian fans have compared Hardik Pandya with legend Kapil Dev due to the fact there has hardly been any fast bowling all-rounder amongst the ranks ever since Kapil Dev put the curtains down. Irfan Pathan might be the name that will strike your mind, but consistently poor performances have disappeared him from the scene. But all that has become part of history; now the situation is entirely different.
The Selectors saying
Looking at the real reason, Chairman of the selector's committee MSK Prasad revealed that there is no need for a seaming all-rounder as the series is in India. Hence, Hardik Pandya didn’t find a place in the 15-member squad for the upcoming series. The selectors went in with three spinners keeping in mind, the condition of the Indian wickets that offers great advantage to them. So, if this is the reason then most probably now Hardik Pandya will be the part of Test team for away series only.
India will tour to New Zealand in January 2020 and he can prove to be an important factor for team in the tour because of his pace and bounce. New Zealand wickets offers great advantage to pacers than spinners so selectors will give him more preference.
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