Hardik Pandya’s commitment to achieving high standards through hard work has made him India’s leading all-rounder at the age of 29. This was evident when he declined the opportunity to represent India in the prestigious ICC World Test Championship final in June, stating that he preferred to earn his place in the Test squad rather than take someone else’s spot.
“No. I am an ethically very strong person. I haven’t done 10% to reach there. And I am not even a part of 1%. So, me coming there and taking someone’s place will ethically not go well. If I want to play Test cricket, I will go through the grind and earn my spot. Hence, for that reason, I will not be available for the WTC final or future Test series until I don’t feel that I have earned my spot,”
Pandya said at a press conference.
Thus far, Pandya has participated in 11 Test matches for India, during which he has scored 532 runs with an average of 31.29. Notably, his Test record features a noteworthy 108 off of 96 deliveries against Sri Lanka in Pallekele in 2017 and a commendable 93 off of 95 deliveries on a challenging Cape Town surface against South Africa in 2018.
Pandya has claimed 17 wickets in Test cricket, with one five-wicket haul to his credit. His most impressive bowling performance of 5/28 was achieved against England in Nottingham in 2018.
Although Pandya offers the team a dynamic middle-order batting option and a useful pace bowling alternative in Test cricket, he appears reluctant to represent India in the longest format until he feels he is capable of performing to the best of his abilities. He has not played in a Test match since 2018 when he last featured against England in Southampton.
Pandya to captain in first ODI
In the absence of regular captain Rohit Sharma, who is away due to personal reasons, Pandya has taken on the role of leading India in the first One Day International of the three-game series against Australia in Mumbai. Prior to this match, Pandya has already captained the Indian team in 11 T20 Internationals, of which they have emerged victorious in seven.
“ODIs are just an extension of the T20 game in which you have to make a lot of changes. You have to be at it because every over, every ball changes the game. In ODIs, you have more set plans. Once you start something, the same plan could be going on for six overs. It is just (about) how we can control that period.”
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