If reports are to be believed, India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has asked selectors to not consider him for selection in the Indian team for some time. The 28-year-old is keen on regaining full fitness. Pandya was last seen in the 20-20 World Cup where he majorly played as a batter. Before the showpiece event, Pandya played the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he didn’t bowl for the Mumbai Indians.
If reports in ESPN Cricinfo are anything to go by, then Pandya has asked the Chetan Sharma-led selection panel to give him some time so that he can work on his fitness and return as an all-rounder. The 28-year-old brings a lot of balance and also adds a lot of depth to the team owing to his all-round skills. That aspect though has been missing in the white-ball formats ever since he has returned to the team from the back injury he sustained in 2019.
Pandya was not picked for the home T20I series against New Zealand and now, he may not be in the squad for the South Africa series as well. However, skipper Kohli wants Pandya in the team, even if he is not bowling, owing to his finishing skills.
“What he brings at that No.6 spot is something you cannot create overnight,” Kohli had said in a virtual interaction before India started their T20 World Cup campaign in October.
“We understand the value he brings to the team as a No.6 batter, and in world cricket, if you look around, there are specialists who do that job. It’s very important to have that guy, especially in T20 cricket, who can play an impact innings at that stage. Even when the chips are down, he’s someone who can play a long innings in that way. So, for us, that is way more valuable than forcing him to do something he’s not ready for at the moment,” Kohli had said.