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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

India vs South Africa: Why a fit Hardik Pandya was not named in India’s Test squad? MSK Prasad explains

India chairman of selectors MSK Prasad revealed the reason behind excluding Hardik Pandya from India’s Test squad despite being fit

cricket Updated: Sep 14, 2019 08:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
MSK Prasad (L), Hardik Pandya (R)
MSK Prasad (L), Hardik Pandya (R)(HT Collage)

The MSK Prasad-led selection committee sprang a surprise by not naming all-rounder Hardik Pandya in India’s Test squad for the three-match series against South Africa. Pandya, who was rested after the World Cup, was expected to get his place back in the Indian side as the only designated seaming all-rounder but the selectors thought otherwise. Explaining the rationale behind the same, MSK Prasad stated that Pandya was available for selection but was not included as the Indian team management felt no need for a seam bowling all-rounder for the home series.

“We did not feel the need for a seam bowling all-rounder for home series,” said MSK Prasad after the selection meeting at New Delhi on Thursday. When pressed for details, Prasad confirmed that it was actually a combination of managing Hardik Pandya’s workload as well as the requirement based on the conditions. “Yes, he plays ODIs and T20Is, so it’s a combination of both,” Prasad added.

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Pandya, however, will be a part of India’s T20I squad for the three-match series against South Africa which starts on September 15 at Dharamsala.

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There were two changes in the Indian Test that played in West Indies. Opener KL Rahul was axed because of his poor form with the bat and he was replaced by Shubman Gill, who earned his maiden call-up in the longest form of the game. Prasad, however, cleared that it will be Rohit Sharma who will open the batting in the three-match series along with Mayank Agarwal. Gill was selected as a backup opener.

The other player to miss out from the team was Umesh Yadav as the squad was trimmed from 16 to 15. The selectors felt that Yadav should play domestic cricket as it is unlikely that India will field more than two specialist seamers in the playing XI at home.

The three-match Test series begins from October 2 at Visakhapatnam.

First Published: Sep 13, 2019 18:02 IST