Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif has called for Hardik Pandya’s inclusion in India’s Test team for the upcoming series against Australia. Kaif’s comment came after Hardik Pandya played the match-winning knock of 42* off 22 balls in India’s six-wicket win over Australia in the second T20I on Sunday.
The win gave the Men in Blue an unassailable 2-0 win in the three-game series. Hardik Pandya’s match-winning knock was studded with two sixes and three fours. Those two sixes came in the final over when India needed 14 runs as he sealed the victory in style.
The India allrounder has been in sensational form with the bat at present. In the preceding ODI series, he was India’s highest run-scorer after registering scores of 90 and 92*. Before that, he had starred for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020, helping the team win a record fifth IPL title.
And with Hardik Pandya looking in red-hot form with the bat, the Indian cricket fraternity has called for his inclusion in the Test squad for the Border-Gavaskar series. Kaif led the calls for the same as he took to Twitter to write:
“@hardikpandya7, with an average of nearly 90, has emerged as India’s go to batsman in white ball cricket, behind @imVkohli. Time is ripe for Hardik to be added to the Test squad, in this red hot form worth holding him back in Australia”
.@hardikpandya7, with an average of nearly 90, has emerged as India's go to batsman in white ball cricket, behind @imVkohli. Time is ripe for Hardik to be added to the Test squad, in this red hot form worth holding him back in Australia
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) December 6, 2020
Here are some other reactions on calls for Hardik Pandya’s inclusion in the Test team:
Feel Hardik Pandya should stay back for the Test series v Australia. With the kind of form he’s in he can be a value addition in the team as a batsman.
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) December 6, 2020
I think it will be a huge miss if the Indian selectors don't ask Hardik Pandya to stay back for the Test series.
— Arun Gopalakrishnan (@statanalyst) December 6, 2020
Surely Hardik Pandya stays for the Test Series ? Maybe he cant squeeze in the XI for the First Test, but when Kohli leaves, he has to play. #AUSvsIND
— Bowie (@bowenrob) December 6, 2020
Hardik Pandya has played exceptional cricket to stay back for the test series. He brings the same flair to the game as Virat.
— Jheevan (@Jheevan) December 6, 2020
— Paddy (@Paddy26301784) December 6, 2020
The four-match Test series is scheduled to start on December 17. India will be without their skipper Virat Kohli for three Tests. The 32-year old will return home after playing the first Test to attend the birth of his first child. There are also question marks over the availability of Rohit Sharma who is still at the National Cricket Academy for his rehab.