The selectors' decision to ignore Hardik Pandya for Tests is understandable: Sarandeep Singh

The selectors’ decision to ignore Hardik Pandya for Tests is understandable: Sarandeep Singh

Hardik underwent a back injury soon after the 2019 World Cup and since then has refrained from bowling regularly.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India will be traveling to England in the first week of June for participating in the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship against New Zealand from June 18 to June 22. The same will be followed by India locking horns against England in the five-match Test series. A few days back, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a 20-member squad for two marquee events. 

Contrary to the assumptions, BCCI left out seam all-rounder Hardik Pandya from the Test squad. It is believed that England pitches suit players like Hardik Pandya. Thus, the exclusion of all-rounder came as a surprise for many. Meanwhile, the former Indian selector Sarandeep Singh has backed the exclusion of Pandya as he asserted that Hardik can’t play as a pure batsman.

“The selectors’ decision to ignore Hardik for Tests is understandable. He has not been able to bowl regularly after his surgery. I feel he has to bowl 10 overs in ODIs and four in T20s to be part of the playing XI even in shorter formats. He can’t just play as a batsman,” Sarandeep said as quoted by Hindustan Times.

Hardik underwent a back injury soon after the 2019 World Cup and since then has refrained from bowling regularly. Though the seamer bowled an over or two for India in some of the matches, he is scared to return back to bowling completely as it can aggravate his back injury.

If Hardik doesn’t bowl, it disturbs the balance of the side hugely: Sarandeep Singh

Thus, keeping in mind, Hardik’s apprehensions regarding bowling, the selectors decided that it is in their best interest if the all-rounder doesn’t travel with the Indian team to England. Detailing his opinion on the same, Sarandeep reckoned that the inclusion of Hardik as a pure batsman disturbs the balance of the team. Also, India now has a large pool of all-rounder including Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, and Shardul Thakur 

“If Hardik doesn’t bowl, it disturbs the balance of the side hugely. You have to play an extra bowler because of that and someone like Suryakumar Yadav has to miss out. As we saw in the ODI series against England and Australia, we can’t play with five bowling options,” Sarandeep said.

“Then team now has other all-rounders in Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Jaddu is back, Shardul Thakur can also be an all-rounder, he has shown that. They all can do the job if Hardik can’t bowl.”