Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting feels India should've included all-rounder Hardik Pandya in their squad for the World Test Championship Final against Australia. The summit clash is set to be played at The Oval from June 7 to 11. Hardik recently led Gujarat Titans to the final of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 only to lose to Chennai Super Kings in the last-ball thriller.
Hardik Pandya bowled in quite a lot of games including the playoffs and the final. However, he hasn't played a single Test since 2018 and had denied making it to the WTC final squad directly without playing any first-class cricket. "I thought about the other day for India in this game is how valuable someone like Hardik Pandya could be in a one-off Test match. I know he is on record saying that the Test match game is probably a little bit hard on his body. But for a one-off game," Ponting wrote for ICC Review.
Ricky Ponting was the head coach of Delhi Capitals in IPL 2023 and watched Pandya closely during the matches against GT. He reckoned that the all-rounder could've been the X-Factor for India in the WTC Final. "He (Pandya) could be that X-factor there just to pick in a one-off game, come in and see what he can do with bat and ball.
He could be the difference between the two teams," Ponting further wrote.
As far as Hardik Pandya is concerned, he has played 11 Test matches so far scoring 532 runs at an average of 31.29 and has picked 17 wickets as well. He made his Test debut back in 2017 but hasn't played in the format since 2018 due to injury concerns.