Hardik Pandya is not part of India’s Test squad for the much-anticipated 4-Test series but the all-rounder’s form in the ongoing limited-overs series in Australia series is likely to tempt the team management to consider him for the longest format.
With Virat Kohli returning to India after the first Test on paternity leave and doubts over Rohit Sharma’s availability, India might consider having Hardik Pandya back as back-up. When asked whether he has had any discussions about the same with the team management, Hardik said he would be happy to stay back.
Hardik has been in fine form in the limited-overs series, topping the batting charts in the ODI series with two nineties at No. 6. Pandya hasn’t bowled a lot as he has been careful about his back injury issues but the Mumbai Indians star has delivered as a pure batsman.
On Sunday, Hardik Pandya hit a 22-ball 42 not out as he led India to a 5-wicket win in the 2nd T20I in Sydney. Thanks to Pandya’s fireworks, India sealed an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the 3-match series. Despite not bowling much, Hardik’s contribution with the bat has been significant throughout the series.
“It’s a different ball game, I think I need to be, I mean I don’t mind but at the end of the day, the call is on the management. So, yeah, I don’t think I can say much about it,” Pandya told the press.
Pandya was in phenomenal hitting form in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 as he shone in the finisher’s role for Mumbai Indians who went on to win their 5th title. The MI star believes there is more pressure at the international level and he is happy that he is able to deliver consistently for the senior national team.
“In franchise cricket, you have to step up because it”s a professional sport, and here it’s about the love for your country and you feel more pressure here,” Pandya said.
Having sealed the series with a 2-0 lead, India will be keen on making it 3-0 and carry the winning momentum into the Test series, starting December 17.