Some of the recent reports of Insdiesport suggest that the Indian all-rounder, Hardik Pandya is considering retiring from Test cricket after suffering consistent issues with his back which has also barred him from the bowling action. As the flamboyant all-rounder wants to concentrate on limited-overs cricket, he has informally informed the BCCI about his desire. He played his last Test match back in 2018 in England and since then he has been out of action in Test cricket.
As per the quotes in InsideSport, one of the BCCI officials said, “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 a backup.”
Hardik Pandya’s back injuries have often seen him struggle to bowl. Since his back surgery last year, he has never manage to attain complete bowling fitness. While he was seen bowling to during the England series at home. 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, Hardik Pandya had bowled only 46 overs in ODI and T20Is combined while he hasn’t played any Test during this period.
As per the quotes in InsideSport, the BCCI official informed, “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.”
In Hardik’s absence, India has been trying Shardul Thakur as a seam-bowling all-rounder. He scored a couple of 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.
Elaborating the same, the BCCI official said, “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.”
Hardik Pandya has played 11 Tests in his career, in which he has amassed 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 in Test cricket: