As the highly anticipated clash between India and Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023 looms, the Indian cricket team, led by coach Rahul Dravid, is focused on asserting its ODI dominance in this pivotal World Cup year. Seeking their first ICC title since 2013, India aims to recreate its Champions Trophy success under MS Dhoni’s captaincy. With Rohit Sharma as captain, India’s journey to the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final illustrates their formidable prowess.
Sourav Ganguly, former Indian skipper, has directed a significant plea towards coach Dravid. Ganguly’s request revolves around all-rounder Hardik Pandya, emphasizing his potential impact in Test cricket, particularly in overseas conditions. Ganguly contends that Pandya’s versatile skills, especially his bowling away from home, could provide balance to the team.
Ganguly’s words echo, “I keep saying this to the coach, captain, selectors: they must convince Hardik Pandya to play Test cricket. His bowling might not be as crucial in India, but away matches require his versatile skills. He must play Test cricket outside India, contributing 10 overs per day. Hardik Pandya holds immense significance for the Indian team,” as expressed during the Backstage With Boria show.
Pandya, a key figure in India’s white-ball squad in the absence of Rohit Sharma, has seen limited participation in red-ball cricket since September 2018. Despite his leadership role in the Gujarat Titans franchise, his presence in Test cricket has been sporadic.
With 11 Tests, 77 ODIs, and 92 T20Is for India at the age of 29, Pandya’s cricketing journey underscores his multidimensional skills. His Test debut occurred in 2017 against Sri Lanka, with his last Test appearance in 2018 against England. With 532 runs and 17 wickets in Tests, Pandya’s potential contribution is evident.
In conclusion, Ganguly’s call for Pandya’s role in Test cricket aligns with India’s aspirations for ODI supremacy and World Cup victory. This strategic move could bolster India’s cricketing pursuits, echoing Ganguly’s strategic acumen and Pandya’s multidimensional talents.