Wasim Jaffer doesn’t see all-rounder Hardik Pandya in India’s Test squad anytime soon. The former India opener also feels Pandya’s inability to bowl long spells since his back surgery in 2019 cost him the chance as well and an unproven batting record in Test cricket puts him “far away” as well.
Jaffer said during a discussion on ESPNcricinfo’s show ‘Runorder’ “Hardik bowling 15 to 18 overs a day, you don’t see that happening [due to] the kind of back-surgery he had. Will he bat at four or five? I don’t see that happening in red-ball cricket.”So in that sense, he’s far away from getting into the red-ball circuit. So I think if we just leave him bowling four overs or at max 10 overs in One-Dayers and batting at four, five, or six, it will help him prolong his career.”
However, Hardik Pandya last played Test cricket during India’s 2018 tour of England. It was a great series for him as he collected his maiden five-wicket haul and fourth Test fifty as well. After his injury, India chose a different set up which usually involves playing an attacking wicketkeeper and just one spinner in overseas conditions as well.
In the same interaction, South African fast-bowling legend Dale Steyn said: “Some teams don’t have them but a lot of teams will have someone like a Paddy Upton who will work with players and be able to go to the management and say, “I think this player relishes being a captain. You look at Hardik, and it feels like the moment he’s given a little bit of responsibility of captaincy, you see the best out of him. You know, all of a sudden this guy is just a completely different player… The ‘catalysts’, this is where they make their money!”
“It’s just the times we are living in. We are seeing so much cricket being played, players are going to be injured, they are going to be rested. At the moment, Rohit Sharma is the captain captain in all three formats but obviously, he’s not going to play each and every series. He’s 34 himself so you don’t see him captaining for too long. Going forward, India will look to have split captaincy. Luckily we have IPL where we can assess a lot of Indian captains. We found Hardik Pandya and we are going to keep finding [such captains],” Wasim Jaffer concluded.