The national selectors have postponed the announcement of ODI and Test teams for NZ tour for second consecutive Sunday as they continue to wait for the final word on Hardik Pandya’s fitness.
Earlier, the selectors were set to announce the squad for all three formats on 12 January but that time also they announced T20 team only as they waited for final word on the fitness of Prithvi Shaw and Hardik Pandya. Later, the meeting was rescheduled to 19 January.
But today also they again postponed the meeting as Prithvi Shaw has been declared fit but Hardik Pandya’s rehabilitation process is taking longer than expected and they are still waiting for the final word on his fitness. Hardik Pandya is crucial member in Indian line up as the fast bowling all-rounder provides much needed balance to the team in overseas conditions.
“There isn’t going to be too much of brainstorming with regards to the team. But a fit Hardik is a necessity. The moment NCA (National Cricket Academy) gives Hardik green light to play competitive cricket, he will be an automatic choice. So the selectors will wait for a few more days,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.
According to the sources, if Hardik Pandya gets fail to fit in time than BCCI might continue with Shivam Dube as their pace all-rounder. Another headache for selectors is to find a finishing partner for Hardik Pandya. With Kedar Jadhav’s fitness issues and declining batting prowess selectors might pick Surya Kumar Yadav as his replacement. Earlier, Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour had said “long-term future is for the selectors to decide” for Kedar Jadhav.
The 34- year old has not played a single game in the ongoing India-Australia series also. On the other hand, Surya Kumar Yadav has been knocking hard on the doors of team India as the Right-hander is in red hot form in domestics. A source from BCCI also quipped the same.
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“Kedar is certainly not going to play 2023 World Cup and doesn’t even bowl now. Since he is not in T20, no point in carrying him to New Zealand. Possibly Surya or Rahane should be tried,” a BCCI source told PTI.
India will play 5 T20Is and 3 ODIs along with two tests on almost a 40-day long tour of New Zealand.