Sydney, Dec 8 (IANS) India skipper Virat Kohli has ruled out any chance of Hardik Pandya getting called up into the Test squad saying that the player can make the Test grade only as an all-rounder.
There had been calls for the inclusion of the all-rounder into the Test squad only as a pure batsman after the Baroda player showed an ability to bat deep and with patience in the One-day International series.
Pandya had made a couple of 90s in the three-game ODI series and also played a match-winning knock at the back-end in the second match of the T20 International series on Sunday.
He has been unable to bowl as he is not yet game-ready as a bowler, according to his own admission. Pandya bowled just four over on the tour so far and that was during the second ODI.
“Hardik has been outstanding…we have found someone who can finish the games for us… but Test cricket is a different challenge. We need him to bowl to provide balance to the (Test) team. If you have seen (Test series) in South Africa and England, his bowling gave the team that balance. He will be available for Tests only as a pure all-rounder,” said Kohli in the post-series media interaction.
Pandya, who was the man of the series in the T20Is, too was asked about it at the end of the third T20I on Tuesday. He said he will return home and not play the Tests.
“I think I should head back home and spend some quality time with my family. I haven’t seen them for four months. Maybe in the future (for Test cricket), I don’t know, maybe,” Pandya said at the post-match presentation.
A couple of days though, he had said that he doesn’t mind staying back for the Test series.
Pandya has not played a Test match since the tour of England in 2018.