BCCI announced the Indian Test squad for the upcoming World Test Championship final and the five-Test series in England earlier this week. One notable absence in the Indian squad was that of Hardik Pandya's, who was not in the main squad and even in the four-man standby list.
Pandya, who has played in 11 Tests so far, played his last match in the longest format in 2018. He made his comeback to the Indian team after a long injury layoff last year in the limited-overs formats.
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra believes that Pandya's road to a comeback in Tests is tough, and he might not be seen in whites "for a long while."
"One thing is certain that if he is not there in the WTC final, it's fine but if his name is not there even for the five Tests against England, it's clear that Hardik Pandya may not be seen in Test cricket for a long while," Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
"We all felt Hardik Pandya's name will surely be there. It is obvious that if he has to play Test cricket anywhere then England, South Africa and Australia are the places where you will need Hardik Pandya the medium pacer."
The former Indian opening batsman further said that Pandya's back issues may not allow him to bowl consistently in the longest format, which makes his exclusion from the Test team justified.
"The next day itself Hardik had given a statement that he does not want to play Test cricket at the moment because the situation of his back is very bad and he doesn't want to bowl. So, this is a statement on Hardik Pandya's immediate Test career that he will not be considered now, which is completely understandable if he is not bowling," said Chopra.
In the Indian squad announced on Wednesday, Ravindra Jadeja and Washington Sundar were the two all-rounders named.