Shane Watson Heaps Praises on Hardik Pandya, Calls for His Return to Indian Test Team

Last Updated: March 13, 2023, 13:56 IST

Hardik Pandya playing for Indian in Test cricket (Twitter)

Hardik Pandya playing for Indian in Test cricket (Twitter)

Shane Watson feels Hardik Pandya should don the whites again for India if he can handle the rigours of Test cricket

Hardik Pandya has had a dream run in international cricket since his comeback from a back injury in 2021. The lanky cricketer has not only cemented his place in the team with his all-round show in limited-over cricket but also led India to impressive series victories in T20Is. While everything has been smooth in white ball cricket, Hardik is yet to play a Test match since his comeback. The 29-year-old was not picked even for the high-stakes Border Gavaskar Trophy.

It looks like Hardik is conserving his brittle body by only focusing on limited-overs cricket as of now. But Hardik’s absence from India’s Test setup has raised question marks over his future in red-ball cricket.

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Now, former Australia cricketer Shane Watson has weighed in on Hardik Pandya’s absence from Test cricket. While speaking to Hindustan Times on the sidelines of Legends League Cricket 2023, the legendary Australian all-rounder opined that Hardik should don the whites again if he can handle the rigours of Test cricket. Watson also praised Hardik as a “special talent in world cricket.”

“If his body can handle the rigours of Test cricket then absolutely. He has got incredible skills even with his batting. He has got a very sound batting technique. He is a power-hitter of the ball, but everyone has seen him move up the batting order in T20 cricket, batting at No.4 for Gujarat Titans,’ Watson was quoted as saying.

He added that Hardik is not just a power hitter and has the game to do well in Test cricket.

Shane Watson then went on to explain Hardik’s importance as a bowler as well. He added that Hardik has the ability to swing the new ball away from the batters and could play a big role In the Indian Test team. “I would love to see him push the limits as an all-rounder when it comes to playing in all the three formats of the game because he is one of the special talents in world cricket,” Watson said.

Watson also backed KL Rahul to come good in Test cricket. Watson was of the view that Rahul should play with freedom in order to put the bowler under pressure. Rahul was recently dropped in favour of Shubman Gill in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

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