Superstar all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been rested for the upcoming two Tests against Sri Lanka. A media release from the selection committee said that the call has been taken in consultation with the players and the team management. The reason behind Pandya’s resting is to get him sufficient rest and avoid any injuries. “Considering Mr Pandya’s heavy recent workload, the decision was made to negate any possibility of a major injury concern. Mr Pandya will undergo a period of strength at conditioning at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.” The Test series which starts from November 16th will see India square off with Lanka in 3 matches. Pandya will now utilise his time at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru where he will undergo strength training.
Hardik Pandya after a phenomenal run in the Australian series struggled to find the lost touch with the bat in the limited over series against Kiwi. The last encounter between India and New Zealand saw Pandya injure his finger badly while executing a caught and bowl attempt in the last over. He has been an integral part of the Indian side since impressing in the Champions Trophy 2017. The Mumbai all-rounder has so far represented the country in only 3 matches and was named in the squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka, but has now been dropped to cut the workload off him.
Pandya’s omission from the squad will affect the team’s balance as his contribution with both the bat and the ball has been significant in recent few months, but with the return of Ravindra Jadeja who has been performing exceptionally well in the domestic circuit, it could be an effective decision. Jadeja will now be promoted in the all-rounder role once again where he has impressed for long. The selectors had announced the squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka on October 23, roping in long time absentees Jadeja, Ashwin and Murali Vijay.
Among bowlers, Mohammed Shami has been picked to spearhead the attack with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were also included in the Test squad. Captain Virat Kohli had earlier sought rest after a hectic schedule and is likely to be rested in the 3rd Test encounter.
Here are the squads for the India-Sri Lanka Test series:
India Test squad for the first two Tests: Virat Kohli (Captain), KL Rahul, M Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-Captain), Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma.