Team India began looking for its replacement for Kapil Dev after he left international cricket. A few all-rounders did make it to the national squad, but Hardik Pandya is the only one who has played this long and bowls with pace. The right-hander has participated in 74 ODIs, 87 T20Is, and 11 Tests.
Pandya currently serves as the T20I team’s captain and Rohit Sharma’s backup in ODI matches. But he hasn’t yet been able to compete with Kapil. Pandya has only received 11 Test caps since making his debut in 2017, compared to Kapil’s total of 131 Test matches.
In this blog, we will discuss why a versatile all-rounder such as Hardik Pandya does not play Test Cricket anymore.
The rise of all-rounder Hardik Pandya
According to the man, his family is wealthy because his father, Himanshu Pandya, runs a modest auto loan company. Being a huge fan of cricket himself, he saw potential in his two boys to play for Team India one day. This urged him to take their cricketing careers seriously. Himanshu closed his company and moved to Vadodara to help with his son’s education.
Pandya overcame all the hurdles and made a name for himself in domestic cricket. In 2015, his long hours finally paid off when he was chosen by the Mumbai Indians. He quickly rose to fame after doing very well with both bat and ball and grabbed eyeballs all over the country by helping Mumbai Indians win the Indian Premier League (IPL) title in 2015.
Additionally, on January 27, 2016, before the T20 World Cup, Hardik made his international debut for Team India against Australia. Pandya’s two crucial wickets in his debut helped India win the match. Later, Pandya took part in India’s heroics during the Asia Cup against Bangladesh, pulling off a robbery.
Hardik has since become a key member of the Indian team. Before the injury in his career, he was a crucial member of the Indian team in all formats.
The Mumbai Indians released Pandya before the IPL 2022 mega auction. He was later chosen as the team’s captain by the Gujarat Titans, a new Ahmedabad franchise. In 2022, he captained Gujarat to their first IPL title, making him the first captain since Shane Warne to do so.
For the Gujarat Titans, Hardik even began to bowl. During the powerplay or the final few overs of the inning, he bowled the key overs. He moved up to No. 4 and began taking wickets while also contributing some huge runs for his team.
Why doesn’t Hardik play Test cricket?
Hardik Pandya, 29, made his Test debut for Team India against Sri Lanka in 2017. Since then, he has played 11 Tests, taking 17 wickets and scoring 532 runs. After the Test series in England in 2018, Hardik Pandya began to feel back discomfort.
At first, it was thought to be a back spasm, and Hardik carried on playing cricket. He suffered a big back injury while bowling in the 2018 Asia Cup.
As a result, he was away from the game for a long time. When he returned, he did not bowl. In addition to this, he claimed that his level of fitness prevented him from playing Test cricket. especially given the numerous issues he was having with his bowling.
He concentrated more on white-ball cricket at that time. He didn’t begin bowling until the 2021 World Cup, at the same time.
As a result, Pandya took a break from cricket to improve his fitness and directly entered the 2022 IPL. With the ball and the bat, he played exceptionally well in the IPL 2022.
Additionally, he led Gujarat Titans to victory in their first IPL season after becoming the captain. He has continued to represent India in ODIs and T20s ever since. He still didn’t return to the Test, though. Pandya believes his body is not physically alright for Test cricket. Overall though, Hardik’s fitness stops him from playing Test cricket for Team India any longer.
Due to prior back problems, Pandya is only currently capable of playing white-ball cricket and is unable to play first-class cricket. So, the Indian cricket fans, don’t hold your breath for him to play in red-ball cricket any time soon.