Reports: Hardik Pandya focused on returning to peak fitness, requests BCCI to not consider him for selection for a while
If reports are to be believed, India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has asked national selectors to not consider him for selection for some time. The 28-year-old has said he is keen on returning to full fitness. Pandya, who was last seen in the 20-20 World Cup, has not been able to contribute as he would have liked.
Ever since returning from the back injury, Pandya has not bowled much. Recurring back problems has meant that Indian management as well as the Mumbai Indians have not used his services as a bowler. According to reports in ESPN Cricinfo, Pandya is vying to return to bowling full-time and has requested selectors to give him some time.
The 28-year-old bowled in only two of five India games in the 20-20 World Cup. The all-rounder was not part of the home series against New Zealand and now he may not be with the squad on the away tour of South Africa as well.
Pandya, however, has found the backing of India skipper Virat Kohli. Even if Pandya is not fit to bowl, Kohli wants him in the team owing to his finishing skills. “We understand the value he brings to the team as a No.6 batter, and in world cricket, if you look around, there are specialists who do that job. It’s very important to have that guy, especially in T20 cricket, who can play an impact innings at that stage. Even when the chips are down, he’s someone who can play a long innings in that way. So, for us, that is way more valuable than forcing him to do something he’s not ready for at the moment, ” Kohli had said before the 20-20 World Cup.