Hardik Pandya was expected to make his much-awaited comeback for the ODI series against New Zealand but the all-rounder missed out selection due to fitness issues. A report in PTI suggests that he was never considered for selection as he isn’t fully fit. Pandya had recently claimed that he is fit enough to bat but is not fit to bowl, which is the reason behind his absence from the squad.
The report also adds that he might have to play a domestic game before his comeback. The update though does come as a surprise as Jasprit Bmrah made his comeback without proving fitness in a domestic game while Wriddhiman Saha has also been asked to skip the Ranji Trophy fixture – he will play for India A.
Pandya has started training under Rahul Dravid and his team at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and is likely to undergo a fitness test before the team selection for the South Africa series.
Pandya isn’t in the scheme of things to get selected for New Zealand Tests. The team management might also not want to put an extra burden on him just before twin T20 World Cups.
Pandya hasn’t played any competitive game since September 2019. He was a part of home T20I series against South Africa and has been out since then. He recently underwent back surgery in the UK and then trained under his trainer. Pandya is on the right track and should be back soon.
If not South Africa series, he will make a comeback in IPL 2020. But it is sort of confirmed that he will play three ODIs against South Africa.
Apart from Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan was also missing from the ODI squad. He has been ruled out of complete New Zealand tour due to a shoulder issue which he suffered during third ODI against Australia.