Hardik Pandya, who is currently recovering from a back surgery that he underwent post September, is reportedly likely to be included in the squad for the five T20Is against New Zealand. Pandya's fitness is set to be monitored during India 'A' side's warm-up games against New Zealand 'A'.
After being rested for the entirety of the West Indies tour post the World Cup, Hardik Pandya made his return to the side in the T20Is against South Africa. However, post the series, the all-rounder decided to go under the knife to solve a long-standing issue, a process that eventually ended up ruling him out of the entire home season. But now, three months post his surgery, Pandya is slowly inching towards full fitness, as a result of which he was named in the India 'A' side's one-day squads to tour New Zealand 'A'.
According to a report by Times of India, it is believed that Pandya's fitness will be monitored in the two warm-up games that the 'A' side will play before the unofficial ODI series and should he pass the test, will then be directly drafted into the Indian senior side for the five-match T20I series against the Kiwis starting January 24.
“The selectors were informed by BCCI that he is doing well. The plan is to check his fitness in the two warm-up games that India ‘A’ play and then he joins the Indian team for the five-match T20I series,” a top BCCI official was quoted as saying by TOI.
Like his teammate Jasprit Bumrah, Pandya, too, chose to undergo private treatment and did his rehab outside of the NCA, and it is believed that the all-rounder had requested for it citing his mental space as a reason for the same. But it is understood that the 26-year-old kept both BCCI and Yogesh Parmar, physio of the NCA, in loop about his recovery. The recent controversy surrounding the NCA - in the mismanagement of the injuries of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar - has raised eyebrows about the authenticity of the processes in the academy.
“Right after his surgery, he had communicated to BCCI that he would prefer to be home during his rehab as he would be in a happier place mentally and that would help him recover faster. “He, however, kept BCCI in the loop about his progress and NCA physio Yogesh Parmar had overseen his treatment,” the official said.