Hardik Pandya has been out of action ever since the home T20I series against South Africa in September last year. He then underwent a successful lower back surgery the following month after which he was out of action for the entire year. Meanwhile, Pandya had gone on to say that he might make a comeback in the middle of the ongoing New Zealand tour.
It was then learned that the Mumbai all-rounder might mark his return to international cricket during the three-match Test series against Kane Williamson & Co. Now, it has been confirmed that he has been ruled out of the New Zealand series as well.
Hardik Pandya, who was seen bowling in the nets at Mumbai ahead of the ODI series against Australia has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand after failing to regain full fitness. This was confirmed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday. Returning from a back surgery, Pandya last month flunked the bowling workload monitoring test, one of the mandatory requirements to be considered for selection.
"Team India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand. He traveled to London and was accompanied by NCA Head Physio Ashish Kaushik for a review by spinal surgeon Dr. James Allibone," BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.
"Hardik will be under rehab at the National Cricket Academy until he regains full match fitness," he added.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly confirmed on Monday that Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya wasn't fully fit yet. This development has raised doubts over the all-rounder's participation in the upcoming Test series against New Zealand. Hardik Pandya was included in India A squad for the ODI games against New Zealand but was later pulled out of the squad as he wasn't deemed fully fit. The all-rounder was seen bowling in the nets to Team India before the Mumbai ODI against Australia earlier this month. Pandya looked absolutely fit as he bowled to his teammates.
Looking at his progress, it was expected that he would return to action for the upcoming Test series in New Zealand. However, putting all speculation to rest, Sourav Ganguly has confirmed that the all-rounder was not fit at the moment. Sourav Ganguly made it clear that Hardik Pandya was not even fit to play a domestic game let alone a Test match. Ganguly also confirmed that the 26-year old was currently undergoing training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. This makes Pandya unlikely to play in New Zealand for either the senior team or the India A team. Hardik Pandya could aim to return in the IPL 2020 for the Mumbai Indians in March 2020.
(From PTI Inputs)
(Image Courtesy: AP)