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Hardik Pandya spotted at Mumbai airport en route New Zealand

Pandya will join Team India ahead of the third ODI.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: IndiaToday)

Life has suddenly started accelerating for Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya after a few weeks of low. The ace cricketer found himself in the middle of a big controversy after uttering words about women on a TV show that were not seen in good taste. India opener KL Rahul was also at the receiving end along with Pandya and both faced an indefinite suspension. However, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) that operates the BCCI decided on Thursday that it was enough and the suspension was lifted.

Pandya was asked to join the Indian team touring New Zealand at the moment and the 25-year-old was spotted at the Mumbai airport on Friday night, preparing to catch a flight according to India Today. India are playing the Black Caps in a five-ODI series and are leading 2-0 after two games at the moment. Pandya looks certain to play in the XI once he reaches New Zealand.

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Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: IndiaToday)

The decision to send Pandya for the NZ series straightaway though did not go down well with a section of the BCCI which felt it would give a wrong signal to players like Vijay Shankar who was sent to New Zealand as Pandya’s replacement and played in three games starting from Australia.

Hardik Pandya and Rahul were sent back home before the beginning of the ODI series in Australia. Rahul has been asked to play for India ‘A’ against England Lions for five ODIs at home and he could join the T20Is against New Zealand after the ODIs get over.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: IndiaToday)

What happens to Vijay Shankar now, asks Sunil Gavaskar

Pandya will be available for selection for the Indian side for the third ODI to be played in Hamilton. Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar told India Today that though it was a good thing that Pandya was back but he also wondered what would happen to Vijay Shankar now.

“Hardik will be key for India in the World Cup and it’s a good thing he is coming to New Zealand but then what happens to Vijay Shankar? He has not done a bad job at all in the two games he has played so far. He has done a pretty good containing job. What’s going to be his position? Is he going to be sent back now that Pandya is coming here?” Gavaskar was quoted as questioning from New Zealand.

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