Hardik Pandya strengthens his claim for Australia Test series with a 5-fer in Ranji Trophy

Pandya was out of action since last three months owing to back injury.

Hardik Pandya | Getty

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya enjoyed a fruitful return to competitive cricket after recovering from the back injury, as he took five wickets for Baroda in their Ranji Trophy match against Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium.

Pandya, who has claimed three wickets on the opening day on Friday, completed his five-wicket haul on Saturday morning as he scalped the remaining two wickets.

While Hardik had dismissed Aditya Tare (15), Vilas Auti (12) and Shivam Dube (37) on Day 1, he got rid of Akash Parkar and Royston Dias on the second day. With this impressive outing, Pandya also strengthened his claim for a place in the Indian side for the third and the fourth Test in Australia.

Pandya was handed the new ball on Friday. It was only the eighth such instance for Pandya in the Ranji Trophy and the right-armer used the little assistance the surface offered with good effect.

Hardik Pandya was out of action since last three months. 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). Besides Pandya, left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt also impressed one and all with the ball, taking 4 wickets by conceding 76 runs.


By Salman Anjum - 15 Dec, 2018

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