Team India's leading all-rounder Hardik Pandya is yet to make a comeback in the international arena after taking an injury-forced hiatus from the game after the 2019 World Cup. Hardik Pandya's lower back injury returned to haunt him in 2019, ruling him out of action for more than six months until the coronavirus pandemic forced cricketing activities to shut down. However, Hardik Pandya was raring to go as he provided a preview of his mighty batting ability in the DY Patil T20 tournament before the lockdown. Now, ahead of the possible resumption of cricket in India, the premium all-rounder has admitted that making a comeback in the longer format of the game would be a challenge for him, owing to his injury and other reasons.
Hardik Pandya recounted the nearly career-ending injury horror in the game against Pakistan in the Asia Cup in 2018 and revealed that he had thought his career was finished then. The all-rounder said that he had excruciating pain and was knocked out for 10 minutes, as he was stretchered out of the ground. However, Hardik Pandya said that his body had gone into auto-recovery mode immediately after and that he was supposed to be rested after the Asia Cup series but unfortunately picked up an injury.
The explosive all-rounder, however, admitted that his comeback to the Test side was highly unlikely, largely due to the risk of his back injury. Hardik Pandya has played a total of eleven Tests in his career, with his last Test being in 2018. However, Hardik Pandya feels that he can compensate his absence from the longer format of the game by contributing significantly in the limited-over formats of the game, where he knows he is an integral part of Team India's line-up.
"I see myself as a back-up seamer for sure. After my back surgery, I don't know, playing Test cricket right now will be a challenge," the 26-year-old told 'Cricbuzz in Conversation'.
"If I was a Test player and didn't have the game in white-ball cricket, I could go now and risk my back in Tests but I know my importance in white-ball cricket.
"It has happened that I played Tests and then didn't do well in ODIs and T20s because my plus point is my energy," he explained.