India vs Australia: Hardik Pandya ruled out of upcoming series
Indian cricket team star all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the upcoming T20I and ODI series against Australia. India play two T20Is and five ODIs against the Aussies ahead of the Indian Premier League. This is a blow for India at this crucial juncture with less than 100 days to go for the ICC World Cup 2019.
As per reports, the BCCI medical team decided to hand a rest to the all-rounder in order to help him undergo strength and conditioning work for his lower back stiffness. Pandya will begin his fitness work at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru from next week. Jadeja, who was earlier dropped from the ODI squad, gets a chance to feature now.
Pandya suffered a back spasm against Pakistan during the Asia Cup 2018 in UAE in September. Pandya missed the remainder of the Asia Cup and then sat out of the full-fledged series against West Indies. He also missed the T20I and Test series against Australia. Pandya was suspended ahead of the ODIs against Australia for sexist comments on a television chat show.
Pandya made his impact felt after returning to the scenes for three ODIs against New Zealand. He picked up four wickets and also showed his value with the bat. Pandya also featured in the three-match T20I series against the Kiwis. This series was crucial for Pandya to get valuable time in the middle. It is important now for him to recover fully.
Pandya is India's most valued all-rounder and it is important for him to be completely fit for the World Cup. He is likely to feature in all the matches for India in the coveted tourney. Pandya's workload needs to be monitored in IPL 2019.