Hardik Pandya drops huge update on Test future ahead of Border-Gavaskar Trophy vs Australia
Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya opened up about his return to Test cricket ahead of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia.
India's stand-in T20I skipper Hardik Pandya was asked about his much-awaited return to red-ball cricket after the star all-rounder guided the Indian side to another series win against New Zealand on Wednesday. White-ball maverick Pandya replaced KL Rahul as India's new vice-captain in the limited-overs format after the T20 World Cup last year. Continuing his evolution as a white-ball player, Pandya sealed India's win in the 3rd T20I with his all-round show at Ahmedabad.
While Indian opener Shubman Gill smashed a record-breaking century, skipper Pandya delivered the goods with the ball as India hammered New Zealand at the famous Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Providing the late flourish with the bat, Pandya remained unbeaten with an on-song Gill in the one-sided contest. Gill's sensational century and Pandya's quick-fire 30 off 17 balls propelled India to a match-winning total.
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Pandya sparked New Zealand's batting collapse by taking four crucial wickets. The Indian skipper bagged four wickets and leaked only 16 runs as New Zealand folded for 66 in 12.1 overs. Speaking to reporters after the match, Pandya opened up about returning to Test cricket. "I will come (back) when I feel (it's) the right time to play Test-match cricket," Pandya said.
"Right now, I'm going to focus on white-ball cricket, which is important, and if time is right and body is fine, I'll give (the long format) a try," the Indian all-rounder added. Pandya has played 11 Test matches for India. The 29-year-old made his Test debut Sri Lanka at Galle International Stadium in 2017. The star all-rounder last played a Test match for India (against England) in 2018.
India will resume its campaign in the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship with the upcoming home series against Australia. Team India is placed second on the ICC World Test Championship points table. Under the leadership of all-format captain Rohit, hosts India will play four Test matches against Australia in the high-profile Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Team India is scheduled to play the Test series opener against Australia at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on February 9.