Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya is likely to be unavailable for the tour of South Africa as per reports. Hardik Pandya's fitness has been one of the major concerns for Team India of late.
The all-rounder despite not being 100% fit, was selected in the Indian squad for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. His selection in the marquee tournament invited a lot of criticism as many were of the opinion that an unfit cricketer shouldn't find a place in the team.
Moreover, Hardik Pandya also injured his shoulder in India’s first game against arch-rivals Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2021. His injury seemed to be a minor one as he then played all the remaining matches in the tournament.
It was expected that Hardik Pandya would find a place in the Indian squad for the recently concluded T20I series against New Zealand, which hosts won (3-0), but everyone was surprised to find his name missing. However, it is learned that the all-rounder opted out of the series due to a shoulder injury.
With India’s tour of South Africa slated to begin from next month, there are a lot of speculations about whether Hardik Pandya will be included in the squad or not.
A BCCI official said that Hardik has been asked to report to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) as selectors want him to recover and then prove his fitness at the NCA for selection, as per a report in InsideSport.
“His recovery from injury will mainly depend on rest. He should be visiting the NCA soon and we will take a call on his inclusion in South Africa tour depending on his fitness," a BCCI official told Insidesport.
The official revealed that Hardik Pandya is no even near the required fitness level for Test cricket. He said that the all-rounder needs time and management don’t want to rush the things and if he’s ready he’ll be sent for the white-ball games to South Africa.
“At this moment, he is no way near the required fitness level for Test cricket. He needs time and we don’t want to rush things like was the case before the World Cup. If he is ready, he will be sent for the ODI and T20 series," he said.
India will play 3 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 4 T20Is on their tour to South Africa. The tour will begin on 17th December.