“I want to see him play Test cricket,” Ganguly urges this Indian player to make a comeback in longest format

India endured a massive 209-run defeat at the hands of Australia in the WTC final.

Hardik Pandya hasn’t played Test cricket since August 2018 | GettyTeam India are drawing flak from all quarters after their heavy 209-run defeat at the hands of Australia in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final at The Oval.

This result meant India's underwhelming record in ICC tournaments continued, with their last victory coming way back in 2013. India were defeated by New Zealand in the inaugural WTC final two years ago.

Amid the scrutiny, former skipper Sourav Ganguly has warned against jumping to conclusions, particularly with the Indian team's future in Test cricket.

“Let's not jump to conclusions due to just one loss, India will always have talent. And I don't think it is time to look beyond Virat (Kohli) or (Cheteshwar) Pujara. Virat is just 34,” Ganguly told India Today.

“India has enormous reserves. When you look at some of the performances. I don't consider IPL performances if we are sticking to Test cricket. In domestic cricket there are some fantastic players and you will only find out when you give them opportunities. Whether it be Jaiswal or Patidar, Abhimanyu Easwaran from Bengal scores a lot of runs. Shubman Gill is young, Ruturaj Gaikwad and I hope Hardik Pandya is listening. I want to see him play Test cricket, especially in these conditions,” he added.

While Hardik Pandya has made a successful comeback to white-ball cricket after going through back surgery in 2019, the seam-bowling all-rounder hasn’t played Test cricket for India since August 2018.

Earlier this year, Hardik ruled himself out of the WTC final, saying it would be unfair to take someone’s place in the squad without making any contribution in India’s journey to the summit clash.

“No. I am an ethically very strong person. I haven’t done 10 per cent to reach there. I am not even a part of 1 per cent. So me coming there and taking someone’s place will ethically not go well. If I want to play Test cricket, I’ll go through the grind and earn my spot. Hence, for that reason I will not be available for the WTC final or future Test series until I don’t feel that I have earned my spot,” Hardik had said ahead of the ODI series against Australia back in March.

India will begin their WTC 2023-2025 cycle with a two-match Test series against West Indies, slated to get underway on July 12 in Dominica.


By Salman Anjum - 14 Jun, 2023

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