India’s premier all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been pulled out from the Test squad that will face Sri Lanka later this month. The selectors opted to rest him to avoid any injuries given he has been serving the national duties without any breaks since he made his debut.
He will be going through strength conditioning at the NCA academy in Bengaluru. The selectors haven’t announced any replacement for the all-rounder. BCCI released a statement where the news of Pandya’s omission from the team was confirmed.
“Considering Mr Pandya’s heavy recent workload, the decision was made to negate any possibility of a major injury concern. Mr Pandya will undergo a period of strength at conditioning at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru,” the statement read.
Hardik Pandya, after an impressive run in the limited overs cricket, had made his debut in the longest format of the game the last time India toured Sri Lanka, earlier this year. Even in the whites, the right-hander made an immediate impact as he scored a half-century on debut and then went on to notch up his maiden ton in just the 3rd Test.
The decision to rest him may have been influenced by the incident that occurred in the 3rd T20I against New Zealand in Thiruvananthapuram where the 24-year-old was hit hard on his left hand while bowling the last over of the match. Even though he went on to deliver the remaining deliveries of the match, he was seen having trouble with the blow.
India is going to play 3 Tests against Sri Lanka and the all-rounder will have ample time to recover before the side travels to the all-important tour of South Africa. Pandya could be a vital cog in the Indian line-up as he’ll be a handy pacer in helpful conditions and also, he could prove to be a useful batsman lower down the order that will provide a great balance to the side.
India’s updated Test squad for Sri Lanka series
Virat Kohli (Captain), KL Rahul, M Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-Captain), Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma.