Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra believes all-rounders – Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja might not play Test series against Australia later in the year. Pandya had recently stated that playing Test cricket will be a challenge for him after recuperating from the back injury and he would want to prioritize white-ball format as he wants to channelise his energy better.
Thus, it could be the case that Pandya might not be included in the squad for the Test series against Australia. On the other hand, Ravindra Jadeja is definitely going to be part of the squad for the Australia tour but he may not make the cut into the final XI, according to Chopra.
The cricket analyst reckons that Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav would be preferred over Jadeja on the tour Down Under. In fact, Yadav had scalped a five-wicket haul in the Sydney Test in 2019 against Australia.
However, Jadeja has been in sublime form and it would be interesting to note what kind of combination the team management would back.
Chopra feels India would not risk playing Hardik Pandya as he has had a big surgery recently. Furthermore, it would be important to manage the workload of Pandya after he takes part in the IPL.
“I feel neither (Pandya and Jadeja) of them might play. That is a very strong possibility. Because I feel that Hardik Pandya making it to the Test team doesn’t look possible to me currently,” Aakash Chopra said on his Youtube channel ‘Aakash Vani.
“I feel before Ravindra Jadeja, you might want to look at Ashwin and Kuldeep first. Because Kuldeep is a wrist-spinner and last time when he played in Australia, he took six wickets. After that you have not played him, so I feel he might get a chance there,” the cricketer-turned-commentator opined.
“How can you forget Ashwin, he could also get a chance. So I feel forget about Jaddu and Hardik playing together, their playing itself might not be a certainty when the team takes the field against Australia later this year,” he added.
Hardik Pandya had not played the previous Test series against Australia whereas Ravindra Jadeja had got his chance in the Melbourne Test match in which he took five wickets in the match.
An all-rounder can make a huge difference to the side and India would want to make best use of their strengths. In fact, former Australian captain Ian Chappell had recently said it would make a huge difference to India if Hardik Pandya plays for them in the Test series as he can bring the balance to the side as a seam-bowling all-rounder.
However, as Pandya has made his plans clear, it would be a surprise if we will see him in action during the Test series against Australia.