Hardik Pandya is arguably one of the most promising cricketing talents India has produced this generation. However, injuries have halted the all-rounder's efforts to reach the international cricket summit.
Pandya rose to prominence with impressive achievements in domestic cricket for Baroda and significant contributions for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, quickly establishing himself in the Indian team as a gun limited-overs player.
Due to his consistent performances with both bat and ball, Pandya was called up to the test side for his debut against Sri Lanka in 2017, but only played 11 test matches since then due to major injury concerns with his lower back. August 2018, was the last time Pandya played international cricket in white.
Less than a week ago, New Zealand handed India their qualification for the World Test Championship final after defeating Sri Lanka in an absolute thriller at Christchurch.
Ahead of Pandya's debut as captain of the ODI squad in a series against the Aussies, he was asked whether he would be part of the Indian contingent in the one-off test at The Oval in June.
To which he replied:
"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."
Critics of the cricketing world heaped praise for the modesty of the all-rounder, applauding the fair self-assessment by Pandya.
Team India calling 🇮🇳 Let’s go ✌️❤️ pic.twitter.com/rPMPr3INyC
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) March 16, 2023
Pandya will have his chance to impress yet again with his leadership skills as India take on Australia tonight at 19:00 AEST, in Mumbai.