The 26-year-old Indian pace-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya is doubtful about his future in the Test cricket due to his back issue. However, he understands that his importance is in limited-overs cricket.
After making his international debut in early 2016, Hardik Pandya has already played 11 Tests, 54 ODIs and 40 T20Is. The right-handed batsman has scored 532 Test runs, 957 ODIs runs and 310 T20I runs. Also, the right-arm medium-fast bowler has taken 17 Test wickets, 54 ODI wickets and 38 T20I wickets.
Hardik sees himself as a back-up seamer, but he isn’t sure about his Test future after the back surgery. The all-rounder is focusing on the limited-overs career.
Hardik told ‘Cricbuzz in Conversation’, “I see myself as a back-up seamer for sure. After my back surgery, I don’t know, playing Test cricket right now will be a challenge. If I was a Test player and didn’t have the game in white-ball cricket, I could go now and risk my back in Tests but I know my importance in white-ball cricket.”
Hardik last time played a Test match during the 2018 Southampton Test against England (August-September). He further added his previous experiences from where he understood his strength and weakness.
Hardik added, “It has happened that I played Tests and then didn’t do well in ODIs and T20s because my plus point is my energy.”
I genuinely thought that my career is over: Hardik Pandya after his back injury during the Asia Cup 2018
During the Group Stage match of the Asia Cup 2018 against Pakistan, Hardik received the major back injury after falling on the ground during his bowling. While he left the ground with the help of a stretcher, Hardik had the negative thought about his future in cricket.
Hardik claimed, “I genuinely thought that my career is over because I’d never seen anyone being stretchered off. I was knocked out for 10 minutes, after that the pain never went down. What happens to me is that my body goes into recovery mode straight away… Asia Cup was anyway going to be my last series before being rested but then the injury happened.”
In early 2019, Hardik entered the big controversy due to his outrageous remark on women during the TV chat show “Koffee with Karan“. While he was widely criticised, Hardik has moved on from it after learning the lessons.
Hardik also admitted that his tough phase in cricket career was in IPL 2016 where he was distracted due to taking too many suggestions seriously after the success in IPL 2015. The all-rounder also credited the Mumbai Indians’ (MI) head coach Ricky Ponting for supporting him hugely during the tough phase. Hardik even mentioned, “I felt like he was a father figure for me”.