All-rounder Hardik Pandya and Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav have been released by the BCCI to play for their respective state teams in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy 50-over tournament before rejoining the national squad on March 2 in Bengaluru, two days ahead of the second Test against Australia.
The two were benched for the opening Test and the BCCI released them to enable the duo to gain some match practice in domestic cricket.
Pandya will turn out for Baroda who play Harbhajan Singh-led Punjab today, while Yadav's return has already given struggling UP a boost against Tripura. Yadav made an impact with the bat, sharing in a 90-run partnership with Sarfraz Khan to help the side post a fighting 197 after having been reduced to 39/6 at the KIIT Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Pandya, despite being a regular in the limited-overs setup for some time now, is yet to earn a Test call-up although he has been in the squad for back to back home series.
Yadav rose to prominence on the back of some solid performances for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, and his handsome display in the pink-ball Duleep Trophy earned him a place in the national squad.
Jason Holder or Bhuvneshwar Kumar? Who will take more wickets?
Since start of 2014, Holder has taken 59 wickets at an avg of 34 while Kumar has taken just 38 wickets at an avg of 43. Kumar picked 3 wickets last time he played vs WI at this ground.