The BCCI senior selection conmmitte has postponed the meeting for the ODI and Test series against New Zealand until they get a status report on Hardik Pandya's fitness. The all-rounder had earlier been selected in the A-tour which he pulled out from to take some more time to work on his fitness.
Ever since playing the T20I against South Africa in Bengaluru, Hardik Pandya has been completely sidelined from the sport to nurse his back. He went through back surgery and was included in the India A squad that left for New Zealand but Hardik failed to board the flight with the squad. While MSK Prasad commented that Pandya would be looked at in the third week of January, Vijay Shankar was included in the squad as a replacement. The confusing injury reports, however, have an adverse effect on the team selection as the selectors have now decided to wait for a few more days to have clarity on things.
"There isn't going to be too much brainstorming with regards to the team. But a fit Hardik is a necessity. The moment NCA (National Cricket Academy) gives Hardik green light to play competitive cricket, he will be an automatic choice. So the selectors will wait for a few more days," a senior BCCI official told PTI.
The agency has also reported that the selectors might look at Suryakumar Yadav for the ODIs as a replacement for Pandya's big-hitting. In-form Ajinkya Rahane is also slated to make it to the side in place of Kedar Jadhav.
"Kedar is certainly not going to play 2023 World Cup and doesn't even bowl now. Since he is not in T20, no point in carrying him to New Zealand. Possibly Surya or Rahane should be tried," a BCCI source, privy to selection matters, said.
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