On Friday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a 20-member squad for the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) final and five-match Test series against England.
Since Ranji Trophy did not take place this year, the selections were largely based on performance during India’s tour of Australia earlier this year and home series against the Joe Root-led English team.
Many big names like Prithvi Shaw, Kuldeep Yadav and Bhvneshwar Kumar were missing from the 20-member outfit. However, Hardik Pandya’s exclusion from the squad took everyone by surprise, as many experts of the game had expected him to feature in the final list.
The biggest reason behind the push of Hardik’s name among the cricket pundits was the conditions of England. The English tracks tend to favour the seamers, and that’s why many fans and supporters anticipated that Hardik would be picked since he is the only seam all-rounder Team India has at present.
Before any speculation could arise regarding the absence of Hardik in the red-ball squad, a BCCI official has revealed that the 27-year-old was not selected because he is still not comfortable in bowling.
“Hardik Pandya is still not in a position to bowl. The experiment of selectors to keep him during England and prepare him with bowling workload has failed miserably. Henceforth, he will not be considered for Test cricket,” said a BCCI source as quoted by My Khel.
The Surat-born debuted in the longest format for India in July 2017 against Sri Lanka. So far, he has played 11 Tests. The all-rounder has picked up 17 wickets at an average of 31.1. When it comes to batting, he has scored 532 runs at an average of 31.3. The Indian star player last appeared in whites when India toured England in 2018.