Hardik Pandya was named the player of the T20I series against Australia after his 42 run knock in the second T20I helped India chase down a steep target of 195 runs. Hardik Pandya has enjoyed a great tour of Australia after registering two 90 plus scores in the ODI series and carrying on his momentum for the T20I series.
However, Virat Kohli has brushed aside the question of retaining Hardik Pandya in the Indian squad for the test series against Australia. Pandya who named in the test squad because he was not fit to bowl, and he had previously stated that he will not rush himself into bowling and will look at the bigger picture.
Virat Kohli stated Hardik Pandya needs to be available as an all-rounder to be considered for selection in test cricket. Kohli is also hopeful of having Hardik Pandya bowl in all three formats of the game once he makes a full recovery.
“Test cricket is a different challenge altogether,” said Virat Kohli. “We need him to bowl, we’ve spoken to him about it. That’s when he becomes the one guy who brings a lot of balance for us if you’ve seen our cricket overseas as well. In South Africa and England as well, we were able to compete for longer periods in Test matches because he brought a lot of balance in terms of balance.”
“He’s definitely in that zone where he wants to be stronger and iron out all his niggles. He wants to be available for India in all three disciplines and that’s always been his x-factor. In white-ball cricket, the way he’s striking the ball, we’ve found someone who can finish games consistently.”
“He himself wants to get back into the bowling space and then he becomes available as a pure all-rounder in Tests which becomes way more important because over five days you need that little bit extra from a guy who can bat and ball. He understands that he’ll work really hard to come back the fittest that he’s ever been,” the Indian skipper added.
Virat Kohli applauds his team-mates for their fighting spirit
On the lessons learnt on the Australian tour so far, Virat Kohli stated that he was satisfied with the fighting spirit his side possesses and he hopes that the team management will give the players more opportunities to thrive in the Indian colours.
“One thing I’ve learnt over the last six games is that we’re a team that’ll show belief and try and find ways to win the game and not necessarily give up at any stage,” Kohli said. “That’ll be the hallmark of our team heading into the World Cup next year. The communication from me and the management has been pretty simple.”
“We’re going to back individuals throughout and all we expect them is to go out on the field and make sure they’re looking for situations and play according to it and keep continuing to commit to the team’s goal,” Virat Kohli added. Virat Kohli will fly back home after the first test against Australia, after he was granted a paternity leave by the BCCI. The Indian team will be led by Ajinkya Rahane in the remaining three test matches that follow.