The Indian team for the first two Tests of the 5-match series against England was announced today and there were a few changes from the side that played New Zealand recently. While some of the regular faces in the squad have missed out due to injury, a few youngsters have been handed an opportunity of a lifetime.
One of the biggest surprises that the new selection committee has managed to spring, though, is the inclusion of Baroda all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the team. The 23-year old, who has been part of India’s limited-overs squads, has been slotted in as a seam-bowling all-rounder.
The decision to include Pandya in the squad for the all-important series against England has resulted in a lot of negativity in social media from fans. Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why Hardik Pandya does not deserve a Test spot
#1 None-too-great performance in limited-overs cricket so far
Hardik Pandya made his T20I debut in January this year and was part of an Indian team which whitewashed Australia 3-0 in their own backyard. Post that, he also took part in the first ever T20 Asia Cup and the 2016 ICC World T20 held in India.
In the recently concluded ODI series against New Zealand, Pandya also took his first plunge in the 50-over arena and featured in 4 out of the 5 matches played. Apart from his ‘Man of the Match’ winning bowling spell of 3 for 31 on debut and a fighting 36 in the 2nd ODI, the all-rounder did not do much else.
Pandya’s performance in 16 T20Is, too, hasn’t been great as he hs scored just 78 runs at a poor average of 11.14 and picked 15 wickets at a pretty high economy of over 8. Perhaps his only noteworthy moments have been his 3 for 8 against Pakistan in the Asia Cup and a successful last over against Bangladesh in a thrilling World T20 match.
Most Indian limited-overs players who were promoted to the longest format in the past made it through on basis of their strong performance in the shorter versions. However, Hardik Pandya has clearly not done enough in limited-overs cricket to warrant a spot in the Test team.