Why Hardik Pandya Feels It Will Be Unethical To Play In WTC Final

Hardik Pandya during a practice session. (AFP)

Hardik Pandya during a practice session. (AFP)

Hardik Pandya’s presence in the Test team provides the team with a power-packed option in the middle order and a handy pace option

Hardik Pandya sets very standards for himself and works hard to achieve them. This fastidiousness is essentially what has made the 29-year-old India’s premier all-rounder. This was amply on display when Pandya was asked about the possibility of him turning out for India in the showpiece ICC World Test Championship final in June. His answer was a firm ‘no’. He did not want to usurp the place of a deserving candidate and stressed on earning his place in India’s Test squad rather than walking into the side.

“No. I am an ethically very strong person. I haven’t done 10% to reach there. I am not even a part of 1%. So, me coming there and taking someone’s place will ethically not go well. If I want to play Test cricket, I will 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,” Pandya said at a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday.

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Pandya has played 11 Tests for the country so far and scored 532 runs at an average of 31.29. His Test bio data include a 96-ball 108 against Sri Lanka in Pallekele back in 2017 and a 95-ball 93 on a difficult Cape Town pitch against South Africa in 2018.

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Pandya has taken 17 scalps in the longest format of the game, including one fifer. His best figure of 5/28 came against England in Nottingham in 2018.

Pandya’s presence in the Test team provides the team with a power-packed option in the middle order and a handy pace option. However, it seems that Pandya is not keen on donning the whites for India unless he has convinced himself that he can carry himself well in the Tests again. He last appeared for a Test back in 2018 against England in Southampton.

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Pandya is captaining India in the first ODI of the three-match series against Australia in Mumbai with regular skipper Rohit Sharma missing out due to a family commitment. Pandya has already led India in 11 T20Is and won seven of those. On the challenge of captaining in ODIs, he said, “ODIs are just an extension of the T20 game in which you have to make a lot of changes. You have to be at it because every over, every ball changes the game. In ODIs, you have more set plans. Once you start something, the same plan could be going on for six overs. It is just (about) how we can control that period.”

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