India vs Australia: 'Plans have been made,' Hardik Pandya confirms he won't feature in Test series
Hardik Pandya made abundantly clear that he won’t stay back with the Indian team for the Test series if a chance came his way after India’s 12-run loss to Australia in the final Twenty20 International (T20I) on Tuesday.
Hardik Pandya made abundantly clear that he won't stay back with the Indian team for the Test series if a chance came his way after India's 12-run loss to Australia in the final Twenty20 International (T20I) on Tuesday.
Pandya, who was not picked for the four-match Test series, was a key member of India's limited-overs plans. The 27-year-old Pandya turned out to be the stand out performer for the Men in Blue in their recently ended limited-overs leg Down Under. While India lost the One-Day International (ODI) series, Virat Kohli's boys bounced with a win in the three-match T20I series.
Australia avoided a whitewash by winning the dead rubber third T20I on Tuesday after they defended their total of 186 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Considering his form in the white-ball format in the last few games, there were calls to include Pandya as a back-up option to India's Test squad. Former Indian batsman Mohammed Kaif was among the few who suggested India keep Pandya with the Test squad, saying "time is ripe for Hardik to be added to the Test squad, in this red hot form worth holding him back in Australia".
Pandya, who last played a Test in 2018 during India's tour of England, has however played down the chances of making a comeback in the longest format in the coming weeks. He said his plans have been already made to return to India after Tuesday's game.
"I will leave that to some other time. I really like to see the family back home. So, the plans have been made," Pandya, who scored a total of 288 runs in six matches against Australia (ODIs + T20Is), told the presenter when asked on Fox Sports if he will consider staying back for the Test series.
During the recently ended ODI series, Pandya had said, "I am missing my child. When I left, the child was 15 days, and now the child will be four months. (Waiting for) when I will return. Yes, a lot of things have changed but for the better and this is the best time in my life."
At the end of the post-match ceremony on Tuesday, Pandya handed over his Player of the Series award to fast bowler T. Natarajan, who is the newest member of the Indian camp.
According to news reports, Pandya was spotted visiting a Baby Store with his captain Virat Kohli. The upcoming first Test will also be Kohli's final game of the ongoing Down Under tour as the India skipper has been granted a paternity leave to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. The four Tests are scheduled to be played in Adelaide (Dec. 17-21), Melbourne (Dec. 26-30), Sydney (Jan. 7-11), and Brisbane (Jan. 15-19).