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Indian Skipper Virat Kohli feels that Hardik Pandya must bowl again to consider a Test comeback

December 10, 2020

Written By,

Payel Gosh

Hardik Pandya was arguably the star of the show in the T20I series against Australia. Pandya delivered match-winning innings against Australia, especially in the 2nd T20I. Owing to this, Pandya won the Man of the Series trophy, which he eventually gave to T Natarajan on account of his wonderful T20I debut.

It won’t be surprising to see Pandya in the Test team after his heroics in the T20I series. However, Indian skipper Virat Kohli feels that Pandya needs to bowl if he wants to be considered for the Tests. Pandya last bowled against Australia in the 2nd ODI of the ODI series.

Pandya hasn’t thrown a ball in a long time as he is still recuperating from back surgery last year. The last Test Match Hardik Pandya played was back in 2018. In the press conference prior to India’s T20I triumph, Kohli was asked about Pandya’s inclusion in the Test Series. Kohli made it clear, stating that Pandya has to bowl to be considered for inclusion in the Test Series.

Kohli stated that Pandya would bring a lot of stability to the Indian Test side. However, since he is unfit to bowl, it would be difficult to consider him for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Pandya not considering a Test comeback as of now

Pandya’s last Test Match was against England in 2018. In 11 Test Matches, Pandya amassed a total of 532 runs with a career-best of 108. He boasts a decent batting average of 31.3 and a bowling average of 31.05. As far as bowling stats show, Pandya picked up 17 wickets in 11 Test Matches. In his Test career, Pandya has 4 half-centuries and one 5-wicket haul to his name.

Pandya was asked for his opinion on his inclusion in the Test Squad. To this, Pandya replied stating that it is up to the team management to go forward with it or not. Skipper Virat Kohli also added that Hardik Pandya was pivotal in India’s success in the shorter formats of the game. Kohli believes that Pandya is working on his return to full fitness. With Pandya likely to be out, India needs to fill the void Pandya will leave. India would need a solid all-rounder to take Pandya’s place for the Test Series.

The Border-Gavaskar trophy will see India play 4 Test Matches against Australia. The 1st Test Match is set to take the course on 17 December at the Adelaide Oval.

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Written By,

Payel Gosh