“There should be an attempt…,” Gavaskar calls for Hardik Pandya’s return to Indian Test team for WTC title bid

Hardik Pandya hasn’t played Test cricket since August 2018.

Hardik Pandya | Getty

Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has called for efforts to be made to revive all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s Test career, highlighting his importance if India are to win the World Test Champions (WTC) title next year and achieve success in the forthcoming tour of Australia.

Notably, Hardik had a promising start to his Test career but persistent injuries forced him to prioritize white-ball cricket. His last appearance was in August 2018.

In 11 Tests, the all-rounder scored 532 runs and picked up 17 wickets at an average of 31.29 and 31.05 respectively. He also has a ton and five-wicket haul to his name in the longest format.

Gavaskar believes Hardik Pandya's return to the Test side could be pivotal, especially after his heroics in India’s T20 World Cup 2024 title win.

"Yes, absolutely, they can. I think in the next two months, there should be an attempt to convince Hardik Pandya to play Test cricket. If he bowls ten overs a day to go with his batting, this Indian team could become invincible, and they can surely go on and win the WTC and beat Australia in Australia," Gavaskar said while speaking to RevSportz.

Team India came close to winning the WTC title in 2021 and 2023 but unfortunately, they lost in the final both times against New Zealand and Australia respectively.

Last year, Hardik Pandya ruled himself out of the one-off WTC final match at The Oval, citing ethical reasons.

“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.


By Salman Anjum - 10 Jul, 2024

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