Is This The End Of Road For Hardik Pandya's Test Career?
BCCI, on Friday, picked a 20-man squad for the UK trip - World Test Championship Final and five-match Test series against England. While the squad was pretty much predictive but a few names were missing including that of Hardik Pandya.
Widely regarded as India's next 'Kapil Dev', Pandya had a great start to his career as a pace-bowling all-rounder. Till 2019, it looked like India has finally found 'the one' however, it all suddenly broke down. Pandya injured his back and had to undergo surgery post which he has never looked comfortable with either his back or his shoulder.
"It doesn't seem he is being able to sustain the load of bowling. He recovered from a back injury, changed his action but now it's his shoulder that is bothering him," an Indian team management source had said.
"Even Pandya realizes that he is vulnerable is he pushes himself with the ball," he added.
The star 'all-rounder', post his comeback to the Indian team in November 2020, hasn't been bowling consistently. He has bowled 30 overs across two formats - ODI and T20Is - while taking four wickets in 13 games he played.
In the Indian Premier League(IPL), Pandya hasn't bowled a single delivery in either the 2020 or 2021 season. In IPL 2021, Mumbai Indians' coach Mahela Jayawardene had revealed that Pandya had come with a niggle post the England series which the team was nursing.
"We were looking forward for him to be bowling this season... he was coming back from an injury already, but after those matches against England, the last ODI, I believe he picked up niggle, so that is something that we are nursing at the moment," Jayawardene had said.
Hardik was picked in all formats - Test, ODI, T20I - against England earlier this year. His Test selection was a bit surprising since he was picked as a proper batter.
Given his troubled back & shoulder, and him not being able to complete even a quota of his overs in T20s, let alone ODIs, there is no point debating about him bowling in test matches where a bowler averages 25 overs per game.
Pandya had huge potential and it seemed that he was on a road to being one of the best Indian all-rounders, however, due to circumstances that may or may not be avoidable, this might be an abrupt end to a journey.