In a surprising turn of events, Baroda off-spinner Mahesh Pithiya declined a golden opportunity to join the Australian team ahead of the World Cup. Pithiya, who shares a similar bowling style with Ravichandran Ashwin, was approached by the Australian team management after Ashwin was announced as a replacement for Axar Patel. Despite the tempting offer, Pithiya chose to prioritize his commitments with Baroda in the upcoming domestic season.
Pithiya, who had previously worked with the Australian team during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, received the offer from his friend Pritesh Joshi, who is associated with the Australian team as a side-armer. Although the prospect of joining the international squad was enticing, Pithiya consulted with Baroda’s bowling coach S. Aravind and decided to focus on his domestic cricket career.
“While it’s always exciting to work with international teams, my roots are in Baroda. I have reached this stage because of my performances in domestic cricket, and ahead of a demanding season, I felt it was crucial to concentrate on my game and fulfill my responsibilities to Baroda,” Pithiya explained (to SportsStar). Despite the global opportunity, his dedication to his domestic team remained his top priority.