New Delhi: Hardik Pandya, the India all-rounder, has been ruled out of the upcoming T20I and ODI series against Australia due to lower back stiffness, the BCCI stated in a media release on Thursday (February 21).
The BCCI Medical team decided to rest the all-rounder and let him undergo strength and conditioning work for his lower back at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. Pandya will begin his strength work from next week.
The T20I squad will now consist of 14 members. Ravindra Jadeja has been named replacement for Hardik Pandya for the 5 ODIs.
Hardik Pandya had missed the three-match ODI series against Australia after he was suspended for his controversial comments on TV show Koffee with Karan. BCCI lifted the suspensions on Pandya and KL Rahul shortly after and Pandya travelled to New Zealand where he did well in the ODIs.
This is a big blow to Hardik Pandya months before the World Cup. In Sepetember, Pandya was ruled out of the Asia Cup after sustaining an injury in the first match against Pakistan. Thereafter, Pandya missed the Test, ODI and T20I series against West Indies.
Pandya was also not named in the T20I squad for Australia but he joined up with the Indian team after the first two Tests. Hardik Pandya did not play in the Test series and was expected to make a comeback in the ODIs but the Koffee with Karan row meant he was sent home along with KL Rahul.
After the suspension was lifted, Pandya flew out to New Zealand and made an immediate impact with figures of 2 for 45 in the third ODI. In the final ODI in Wellington, Hardik Pandya’s all-round efforts helped India clinch the series 4-1. He first smashed a 22-ball 45 before picking up 2 for 50 to script a 35-run win for India.
Hardik Pandya did not fare too well in the T20I series against New Zealand. His absence from the series against Australia gives Vijay Shankar the chance to impress the team management further.
India’s squad for 1st and 2nd ODI against Australia: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, Siddharth Kaul, KL Rahul
India’s squad for remaining three ODIs: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant