All-rounder Hardik Pandya was not selected in the squad announced for the first two Tests against Sri Lanka. The BCCI media release said the decision was taken in consultation with the team management.
However, Pandya has cleared the specuations regarding his non-selection. the all-rounder revealed that he himself had asked to be rested having played non-stop cricket in the recent past from IPL to ODIs and then making his Test debut in Sri Lanka earlier this year.
He said, “To be honest, I asked for it. My body wasn’t up for it, I have some niggles because of the amount of cricket that I have played. I want to play cricket when I am totally up for it, when I can give my 100 per cent. I am lucky that I have got this break. I will train in the gym during this break and improve my fitness. I won’t lie, I am really excited for the South Africa series. I would like to use this break to improve my fitness for the series."
Pandya, on justifying his breather said, “I have not played this much cricket in my total cricketing career in such a short time. As an allrounder, it’s difficult. I do my bowling, I do my batting, I do fielding as well, and managing my workload is very important right now because I have not played much cricket in my life."
Since the start of the Champions Trophy, Pandya has played 30 of 33 matches that India have played across formats. In this period, he has bowled 147.2 overs – the most by an Indian player.