India will not consider all-rounder Hardik Pandya for selection ahead of this month's Test series against New Zealand.
Pandya, according to the Board of Control for Cricket in India, has not fully recovered after undergoing back surgery.
“Pandya has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand. He travelled to London and was accompanied by National Cricket Academy head physiotherapist Ashish Kaushik for a review by spinal surgeon Dr James Allibone. Hardik will be under rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy until he regains full match fitness,” read a statement from the BCCI.
The 26-year-old Pandya has not played international cricket since September 2019. He will represent the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League later this year. Bet365 have Mumbai offered at 5.00 to win the IPL in 2020.
What Pandya said
“People have scared me and how, saying that back surgery is this serious, back surgery will finish this, it is very difficult and all. Then I now felt this is a little scary. But then I was like I can't go because someone else had a problem after surgery. I am a different individual, I have a different body type, I have a different work ethic. I know I am going to make a strong comeback and I am going to do the exact right thing which I am supposed to do to make sure my back does not get more hampered,” Pandya said last month.
“After surgery I went to 69 kilograms, which I have never been in my life. So the amount of muscle I lost was, it was just scary. I thought I would lose my power and all, but touch wood I am back to 74 kilograms right now.”
New Zealand and India will contest two Tests. They are currently involved in a five-T20I series. India boast an unassailable four-nil series lead. The fifth and final fixture will be played at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Sunday.
Later this year, India will participate in the Asia Cup – and the T20 World Cup in Australia. They have been pooled with the England, South Africa, Afghanistan and two qualifying teams for the T20 World Cup. India won the inaugural World Twenty20 (since renamed the T20 World Cup) in South Africa in 2007. They beat Pakistan in that final. India will host the T20 World Cup next year.