Hardik Pandya, who was out of action for nearly three months owing to a back injury, is expected to join the Indian Test team in Australia before the third Test kicks off in Melbourne from December 26. Pandya enjoyed a fruitful return to competitive cricket as he took five wickets in the first innings for Baroda in their Ranji Trophy clash against Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium.
As per a report in The Indian Express, the selection committee has left it on Pandya to take a call when he wants to join the Indian team in Australia. Report also suggests that the Indian team management had already asked national selectors to send Pandya to Australia once he is fit and ready.
Apart from his five-wicket haul, Hardik also scored 73 in the first innings while batting at No. 5. The all-rounder continued to shine with the ball in the second essay, taking 2 for 21 in his 10 overs. Report claims that the national selector Sarandeep Singh was in attendance at the Wankhede stadium to see Pandya bowl and had a word with him on Friday after the day’s play.
Hardik Pandya was out of competitive cricket since 19th September. He had suffered a back injury during the Asia Cup 2018 in a group-stage clash against Pakistan. The 25-year-old was taken off the field on a stretcher.
Coming to match, Mumbai scored 465/10 in their first innings, courtesy two magnificent tons from Siddhesh Lad (130) and Shreyas Iyer (178). In reply, Baroda rode on Aditya Waghmode’s 114 and Vishnu Solanki’s 133 to amass 436. Mumbai are currently 184/6 in their second innings, having secured a healthy lead of 213 runs.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)