File photo of Hardik Pandya.© BCCI
Hardik Pandya the stand-in captain in India’s ODI series against Australia has revealed that he won’t be taking part in the World Test Championship final. Hardik Pandya has not played Test cricket for India since September 2018 and has been limited to only playing white-ball cricket due to constant injuries especially back injuries. However, with India qualifying for the World Test Championship, he was asked ahead of the first ODI against Australia if he would be ready to don the whites again for the one-off game at The Oval.
While Pandya’s presence does give India an edge with the bat, especially in the absence of Rishabh Pant, as well as the ball in swing-friendly English conditions, the all-rounder was quick to rule himself out for the Ultimate Test.
On being quizzed if he would be tempted to return, Pandya said: “To be honest, no. I am ethically very strong in my life. I haven’t done 10% to reach there. I am not even a part of the 1%. So me coming there and taking someone’s place will ethically not go well with me.”
“If I want to play Test cricket, I will go through the grind, I will earn my position and then come back. For that reason, to be very honest, I will not be available or play the World Test Championship final, or any future Test matches until I feel that I have earned my spot,” he added.
The opening game of the ODI series against Australia is the first time Hardik captains India in the 50-over format.
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