Monday, January 17, 2022

Hardik Pandya injury: BCCI official to InsideSport, ‘Hardik Pandya thinking of Test retirement for the sake of white-ball cricket’

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Hardik Pandya injury: Hardik Pandya to quit Test cricket – In a big development, Hardik Pandya is considering Test retirement due to his back injuries that have kept him out of bowling action. As the flamboyant all-rounder wants to concentrate on white-ball cricket and IPL, he has informally informed the BCCI about his desire. But he is yet to make an official announcement. Junior Pandya last played a Test match back in 2018 in England and since then he has been out of action in Test cricket. He is also not being considered for the South Africa Tour. Follow Live Updates of cricket on InsideSport.

“He has been struggling with injuries for a while and although he hasn’t informed us officially, he is considering Test retirement. It will help him keep his focus on white-ball cricket. He was anyway not in our plans for Tests. It will be a great loss for sure but we have to prepare backup,” a top BCCI official told InsideSport.

Hardik Pandya injury: BCCI official to InsideSport, ‘Hardik Pandya thinking of Test retirement for the sake of white-ball cricket’

Also Read: Vijay Hazare Trophy: Hardik Pandya skips Hazare to undergo rehab in Mumbai, ignores selectors’ calls to report to NCA

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Hardik Pandya’s ailing back has often seen him struggle to bowl. Since his back surgery last year, he has failed to find his rhythm and hasn’t bowled consistently. In entire IPL 2020 and 2021, he wasn’t seen bowling. While he returned to the bowling action in the England series at home, he wasn’t at his best. In Sri Lanka, he clearly struggled while his absence of bowling was greatly missed in the T20 World Cup.

In fact, in the last 12 months, he has bowled only 46 overs in ODI and T20Is combined while he hasn’t played any Test during this period.

Hardik Pandya injury: BCCI official to InsideSport, ‘Hardik Pandya thinking of Test retirement for the sake of white-ball cricket’

Also Read: India tour of South Africa: Now Hardik Pandya doubtful for South Africa tour, asked to report to NCA

“He is just 28 and it is definitely going to be a big miss if he does take a final call on quitting Test cricket. He has been one of the best all-rounders India could ever produce. But we need all-rounder Hardik back in limited-overs with two World Cups in the next two years. His return to bowling will be more important,” the BCCI official told InsideSport.

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In Hardik’s absence, India have successfully tried Shardul Thakur as a seam-bowling all-rounder. He scored two half-centuries during the England tour while playing an important knock in Australia. The official said, Shardul Thakur is being groomed to take the full-time all-rounder role in Test cricket.

Hardik Pandya injury: BCCI official to InsideSport, ‘Hardik Pandya thinking of Test retirement for the sake of white-ball cricket’

“We obviously need backups and it has been discussed with the team management and the selectors. Shardul is one but there is also Venkatesh Iyer who is being groomed for T20s. We will have to look for other options as well,” the official said.

Hardik Pandya has played 11 Tests for India, scoring 532 runs at an average of 31.29. He has a century to his name besides four half-centuries with the highest score of 108. He has taken 17 wickets in 11 matches at an average of 31.05 with the best bowling figure of 5-28.

Hardik Pandya Test career: 

Mat Inns Runs HS Ave SR 100s 50s
Batting 11 18 532 108 31.29 73.88 1 4
Bowling
Mat Inns Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 5w
11 19 17 5/28 6/50 31.05 3.38 55.1 1
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