Ian Chappell advocates Hardik Pandya's inclusion for Australia Test series
Australian veteran Ian Chappell believes India should include Hardik Pandya in the roaster for the impending Test series Down Under. He reiterated the fast bowling all-rounder will add the required balance in the Indian line-up. Pandya, who is a mainstay all-rounder in the limited-overs setup, has not featured in Test cricket since 2018. Meanwhile, the Test series is scheduled to commence in December.
"It will help if Hardik Pandya is available. He gives India an extra bowling option to maintain the pressure when the leading fast bowlers need a rest," Chappell wrote in recent his column for ESPNcricinfo.
Chappell feels the inclusion of Pandya in the squad could pave the way for another spinner, with him being the third seamer. "This is Pandya's chance to gradually build up overs in the three Tests before the SCG match, where he could act as the third seamer so that a second spinner can be included," Chappell added.
Hardik Pandya recently announced his comeback with two blistering tons in the DY Patil T20 Cup. He also starred in the wickets tally. The 26-year-old missed the second half of 2019 due to a prolonged back injury. His last Test appearance was against England in the 2018 series. Meanwhile, Team India will bank on Pandya's credentials in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Having trounced Australia 2-1 in 2018-19, India became the first Asian side to have won a Test series Down Under. A rather star-studded Australia will look to wreak vengeance, this time around. "India's biggest challenge will be navigating the Australian batting line-up. In addition to Smith and Warner, the meteoric rise of Marnus Labuschagne at No. 3 has helped solidify the batting," Chappell wrote.