Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been rested for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka, the BCCI confirmed on Friday.
Even though Pandya was initially named in the 16-man squad for the first two Tests, the selection committee, after consulting the team management, opted to rest him considering his recent workload.
A media release from the BCCI said the selection committee had taken the call in consultation with the team management so as to lessen the allrounder’s chances of injury. “Considering Mr. Pandya’s heavy recent workload, the decision was made to negate any possibility of a major injury concern. Mr. Pandya will undergo a period of strength at conditioning at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.”
The 24-year-old has been a regular feature in the Indian side across all formats now, having made his Test debut earlier this year in Sri Lanka. Since the conclusion of the Indian Premier League, Pandya has played 22 ODIs, three Tests and five T20Is. With India set to tour South Africa after the home series against Sri Lanka, it was decided to give Pandya a break to ensure he doesn’t face any major injury concerns being the side’s only genuine seam-bowling all-rounder.
While Pandya being rested may reduce the team’s firepower a bit, this decision fits in line with the rotation policy that has been followed by the selectors in recent times. They have kept India’s frontline spinners in Test cricket, R Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja, on the sidelines in ODIs and T20Is. Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav have been treated in much the same way, kept aside for the longest format.
India squad for first two Tests: Virat Kohli (C), KL Rahul, M Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma