Team India will return to action in the longest format of the game with the all-important World Test Championship final on June 7, where the side takes on the Australian team. The Indian team arrived in England – the hosts for the final – in multiple groups due to players’ respective Indian Premier League schedules. Ahead of the WTC Final, however, former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener made a major remark about one of Team India stars, who is not part of the Test team currently.
Hardik Pandya, the star all-rounder who has led India in the shortest format of the game this year, hasn’t made himself available for Test selection ever since his return to international cricket last year. Pandya had taken a break to fully recover from his injury in 2021, and returned to action in the IPL last year which eventually steered his Team India comeback.
Pandya had said that he doesn’t feel he ‘earned’ the Test spot yet, but Klusener believes the all-rounder is giving up the Test format “easily.”
“Yes, possibly. Test cricket (is) always the pinnacle of testing where you are as a cricketer, and testing yourselves,” Klusener told reporters when one of the questions was on whether Pandya has given up the format.
“He (Pandya) is a fantastic cricketer, and if he can stay fit and continues to bowl 135+ kmph, he will always be challenging as one of the best allrounders in the world,” Klusener further said.
Earlier this year, Pandya had broken silence over his Test future.
“I haven’t done 10 per cent to reach there. I am not even a part of one per cent. So, me coming there and taking someone’s place will ethically not go well. If I want to play Test cricket, I’ll go through the grind and earn my spot. Hence, for that reason I will not be available for the WTC final or future Test series until I don’t feel that I have earned my spot,” he had told the media.
“We have to have faith in our strength and conditioning coaches. I am a guy who trusts his team. These calls of workload, who should play when, who should not play, that is completely on the guys who are professionals and it is their call,” Pandya had said.
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