'Hats off to Hardik Pandya' - Ravichandran Ashwin lauds Hardik Pandya's decision of keeping himself out of WTC final contention
"I will not be available for the WTC final or future test series until I feel that I have earned my spot,” Hardik had said.
Ravichandran Ashwin has lauded Hardik Pandya after the latter's decision to withdraw his name from the Word Test Championship 2023 final. Indian team won the recent Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 at home and sealed their place in the WTC final against Australia. Hardik's name was quick to emerge after India's qualification for the final which will take place at The Oval, London from June 7.
Indian team played with three spin and two pace options against Australia in the recent Test series. But given the pitch conditions at The Oval, they are likely to shift to a three-man pace attack in the WTC final. Hardik has impressive numbers while playing in England but the player himself hasn't played any red-ball cricket since December 2018.
Last week, he cleared his name and said that he will not return to Test cricket until he feels he is fit for the format, and earns his place in the team and added that it will be unethical to take someone's spot.
"I haven’t done 10% to reach there. I am not even a part of 1%. So me coming there and taking someone’s place will ethically not go well. If I want to play Test cricket, I’ll go through the grind and earn my spot. Hence, for that reason I will not be available for the WTC final or future test series until I feel that I have earned my spot,” Hardik had said earlier.
Ashwin feels that Hardik's decision was a proper statement to the cricketing fraternity. He praised the pace all-rounder for being honest with his position on the matter and said that it was a big statement coming from Hardik.
"We have reached the WTC final, and many felt that Hardik Pandya must return to the Test side. Of course, those opinions were great since Hardik has done well in England with the limited Tests he has played there. But Hardik said that won't do justice and, 'I will come back when I feel it's the right time to play Test cricket. I haven't even played a one percent role in us qualifying for the final'. This is a proper statement to the cricketing fraternity and to the entire world by Hardik Pandya," Ashwin said while speaking on his YouTube channel.
That was a big statement coming from a player like him: Ashwin
Ashwin further added that Hardik deserves praises for accepting he is not eligible to play in the WTC final and for not giving any excuses for that.
"We usually get attached to failure or success. Once we fail, we won't accept that the reason for the failure is actually us. We tend to blame others for our failures. We believe in superstitions like a black cat came in front of me when I left and things like that. We find various reasons because, at the end of the day, we are all disappointed.
"So, we try to find these excuses to get the next day going for us. Whereas Hardik Pandya has accepted that he isn't eligible to play Test cricket at the moment. He stressed that people who are eligible must be selected instead of him. That was a big statement coming from a player like him. Hats off to Hardik Pandya," he added.