Why Hardik Pandya is not in Test Squad ?

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Why Hardik Pandya is not in Test Squad
Why Hardik Pandya is not in Test Squad

Hardik Pandya, known as The Finisher and The All-Rounder, has been seen as the next Kapil Dev and is a prime all-rounder for Team India, excelling in batting, bowling, and fielding. Since making his international debut for Indian Cricket Team in 2016, Pandya has secured his place in the playing 11. Pandya is close to touch the mark of 100 matches for India in both T20 and ODI format. But one thing which amazes us is Pandya’s absence from India’s Test Squad. He has never been a regular feature in India’s Test team. Let’s see Why Hardik Pandya is not in Test Squad ?

Hardik has played 84 ODIs, 92 T20 matches, but only 11 Test matches in his career. His last Test match was five years ago against England at Southampton in September 2018. In his last Test match for India, Hardik scored just 4 runs in both innings and picked 1 wicket.

Hardik Pandya Test Debut

hardik pandya Test Century
hardik pandya Test Century

In July 2017, against Sri Lanka, he played his first Test match at Galle. However, Pandya was initially included in India’s Test squad against England in 2016 but was eventually left out due to an injury sustained during practice. In his debut match against Sri Lanka, Pandya scored a half century and also picked 1 wicket. In the 3rd and the final Test match of the series, Pandya scored his maiden Test century which was also his first century in international cricket.

Hardik Pandya Test Career

Matches Innings Not Out Runs Highest Score Average 100s 50s
11 18 1 532 108 31.29 1 4

Why Hardik Pandya is not in Test Squad ?

Hardik Pandya has had a history of back injuries, and managing his workload to prevent injuries has been a priority for the team management. Additionally, the team’s strategy for Test matches might prioritize specialized skills, such as those of traditional bowlers or batsmen, depending on the playing conditions and opposition.

Why Hardik Pandya is not in Test Team
Why Hardik Pandya is not in Test Team

Fitness is the primary factor for Test cricket, which spans five days in various conditions. Unfortunately, Hardik’s fitness hasn’t been sufficient for red-ball cricket. He has been absent from the team for extended periods, missing important tournaments. In Test cricket, bowlers need to bowl long spells, but Hardik, who typically bowls fewer overs in T20s and ODIs, finds it challenging to adjust to the demands of Test matches.

Hardik is a key player for Team India, and the management doesn’t want to risk his fitness in Test cricket when he is performing well in T20s and ODIs. The tight schedule of the Indian team, including ICC tournaments, home and away series, and the IPL, emphasizes the importance of managing fitness and gameplay pressure.

In a 2020 interview with Cricbuzz, Hardik mentioned, “I see myself as a backup bowler for sure after my back surgery. I don’t know, playing Red ball cricket right now will be a hard thing for me.” He acknowledges his importance in white-ball cricket.

While Shardul Thakur has given his best as an all-rounder, the management continues to seek a like-for-like replacement for Hardik, who can change the game with his quick batting and bowling skills.

Will Hardik Pandya play Test cricket again?

Will Hardik Pandya play Test cricket again
Will Hardik Pandya play Test cricket again

Pandya last played in a test match five years ago in 2018. In 2021, Pandya returned for the England Test series but didn’t get a chance. Throughout his career, Hardik has faced notable injuries. Currently, he is only seen in white-ball cricket, and during the WC23, he got injured again. It seems that Pandya’s test career may be over, and he might not feature in a Test match anymore.

Despite being a dynamic and impactful player in limited-overs cricket, challenges with injuries and the demands of Test cricket have kept Hardik Pandya predominantly in the white-ball formats. The strategic focus remains on preserving his contributions in T20s and ODIs, where he continues to excel as a vital asset for Team India.