Former Indian cricketer and presently an analyst and a commentator, Aakash Chopra, on Monday opined that Hardik Pandya may not make it to the playing XI for the first Test against Australia which will be played later in December. Aakash also talked about the spin combination that India should prefer for the anticipated series.
India will take on Tim Paine's men Down Under in a four-match Border-Gavaskar series starting December 3 at the Gabba. The series will also include a pink-ball Test, in the second game, at the Adelaide Oval.
Hardik last played for India in the T20I series last year against South Africa, following which he underwent a back surgery. Meanwhile, he hasn't played red-ball cricket since the England tour in 2018. The back issue had put him on the sidelines for the Australia tour later in the same year.
"I feel that Hardik Pandya making it to the Test team doesn’t look possible to me currently,” Aakash said on his Youtube channel ‘Aakash Vani.
“That is because he has a back injury, he has not started bowling, he has not played ODIs, he might play T20s but will you play him in Tests after playing in the IPL.
“Is he ready for Tests and does he want to play Tests currently? First thing first, I do not envisage Hardik Pandya playing the first Test match in Australia. That is what I feel,” Aakash said.
“I feel before Ravindra Jadeja, you might want to look at Ashwin and Kuldeep first. Because Kuldeep is a wrist-spinner and last time when he played in Australia, he took six wickets. After that you have not played him, so I feel he might get a chance there.
“How can you forget Ashwin, he could also get a chance. So I feel forget about Jaddu and Hardik playing together, their playing itself might not be a certainty when the team takes field against Australia later this year,” Chopra said.
The series will be India's first assignment since cricket has been put on hold in March owing to the coronavirus concerns.