Sunil Gavaskar Advocates For Hardik Pandya’s Return To Test Cricket To Strengthen Team India
By CricShots - Jul 11, 2024 3:36 pm
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The former Indian skipper, Sunil Gavaskar, has come up with a very strong case for the inclusion of all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the Indian Test cricket squad. He asserts his view that his presence in the team could make them nearly unbeatable in red-ball cricket. According to Gavaskar, the return of Pandya to Test cricket can turn out extremely conducive to helping Team India win their first WTC title and achieve big wins, especially in Australia.

Hardik Pandya

While Hardik Pandya played a pivotal role in India’s 2024 T20 World Cup victory, he has not featured in a Test for almost six years now. It has sealed his place in both ODIs and T20Is as an all-rounder for India. His contribution to the 2024 T20 World Cup—in taking 11 wickets and scoring 144 runs—proved he is a match-winner.

It now remains whether the team management takes cognizance of Gavaskar’s suggestion and recalls Pandya to Test cricket. India has three Test matches against New Zealand in October and a challenging four-Test series against Australia beginning late November. Gavaskar is convinced that Pandya’s all-round abilities could be a deciding factor in these crucial fixtures.

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“I’m hoping that, in these next two months, there will be some effort made to try and convince Hardik Pandya to come back to Test cricket,” Sunil Gavaskar told RevSportz. “If he starts batting at no. 6 or 7, maybe bowling just ten overs a day, but there with his batting, this Indian team will be pretty much invincible in any country, on any kind of surface.”

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar

It is Sunil Gavaskar’s confidence in Pandya’s impact, rooting from his versatility and recent form. Though Pandya has played only 11 Tests, he has given enough glimpses of his brilliance to merit the claim that he can fill the role of a pace-bowling all-rounder. The burly all-rounder has already compiled 523 runs and taken 17 wickets in his fledgling Test career. He last played a Test for India in 2018 against England since when he was out of contention due to injury and workload management issues.

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Although the résumé looks great, Pandya does have qualms about getting back to Test cricket, simply because playing all three formats takes a severe toll on his body. Call from Gavaskar for his including continues the debate on how best his talent must be harnessed toward giving an extra boost to the Indian cricket team in all formats. With India getting ready to plunge into a challenging Test season, the prospects of Pandya’s comeback have been watched with infinite interest and guesswork.