Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya will miss the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy for Baroda as he is currently undergoing a rehab process in Mumbai.
Hardik Pandya was under scrutiny for his selection for India in the T20 World Cup as the talking point going around at that period was about his fitness. Many experts slammed national selectors led by Chetan Sharma for not being aware of the player’s situation.
Hardik Pandya going under rehab in Mumbai: BCA sources
Pandya had undergone back surgery in October 2019 in the United Kingdom after he complained of issues with his back in the South Africa T20I series at home.
Officials from Baroda Cricket Association said that Hardik was asked about his availability for the team in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. But the player said that he was going under rehabilitation in Mumbai.
“The Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) had sent an email to Hardik enquiring about his availability for the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He has rarely played for Baroda in the last three years. However he gave a one-line reply that he is currently doing rehab in Mumbai,” a senior official privy to developments in BCA told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“Even the BCA doesn’t know. It is understood that he is trying to do some strength and conditioning module for his back which is no longer in best of shape post-surgery in 2019,” the source revealed.
BCA asked Krunal Pandya to show up for practice sessions
Hardik’s brother Krunal recently stepped down from the Baroda captaincy post after a poor campaign in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Experienced batter Kedar Devdhar will replace Krunal and lead the team in Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The Baroda Cricket Association also asked the all-rounder to attend the practice camp of the team instead of just showing up for the matches.
“BCA told Krunal that he can’t just land up during tournaments and he has to be a part of the camp. Then he came and trained with the team for a week,” BCA source said.
Hardik will aim to return to India’s ODI squad for the South Africa series next month. The all-rounder’s decision to skip the Vijay Hazare Trophy might set a barrier for him as national selectors want the players (not part of the Indian team) to participate in domestic competitions.
“The current national selection committee has told all the players that all those who are not in the India squad should go back and play domestic cricket — Hazare and Ranji Trophy,” the source added.
Team Baroda has been giving a tough group as they are paired with Mumbai, Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Puducherry in the Elite Group B.
Baroda will play against Bengal in the first match on December 8 in Thiruvananthapuram.