India allrounder Hardik Pandya who has been sidelined from the game due to his injury recently opened about the challenges he faced after his surgery and further recalled his emotional chat with Skipper Virat Kohli. Hardik Pandya has remained away from international cricket since September 2019. With his anticipated return getting delayed after he failed the fitness test, India's limited-overs squads are unlikely to be tinkered with much for the upcoming six-week tour of New Zealand.
Speaking to a news daily, Pandya revealed how challenging it was for him to recover from the surgery and further apprised about his emotional moment after speaking to Virat Kohli about his surgery.
“I had a word with Virat. He just dropped a message, asking me how I am (after the surgery). I replied ‘I am good but I just wish that no one in the world goes through a back surgery’. I was obviously in meds and all and it was emotionally challenging as well."
As a result of his injury, the star all-rounder has already missed the series against South Africa, Bangladesh, West Indies, and Sri Lanka at home and will also miss the upcoming ODI series against Australia.
Pandya was expected to make the Indian squad after remaining out of action for four months due to a back injury but the all-rounder could not clear the mandatory fitness test, indicating that it will take him more to recover from the surgery he recently had. India will be playing eight white-ball games in New Zealand, and it will be interesting to see if the selectors pick a 16 or 17-member squad, instead of 15. With the India A team's shadow tour coinciding with the seniors' visit, it gives the selectors an option to draft players on SOS basis if the need arises.
Pandya's failure to clear the fitness test is an indication that he is far from ready for interests. It will be interesting to note if the ODI team is an extension of the T20 squad.