'I hope he's listening' - Sourav Ganguly wants to see this player return to Test cricket
At pains over India's defeat in the World Test Championship (WTC) final at the Oval, Sourav Ganguly opined on changes the team must incorporate in order to regain a strong footing in the red-ball format. The former skipper believes the time for changes is here and the team must open up channels for the comeback of one of their previously active Test cricketers.
For Ganguly, one of the major causes of India's comprehensive battering at the hands of Australia was their imbalance and the absence of a quality fast-bowling allrounder. Ganguly, thus, voted for the return of Hardik Pandya to the longer version of the game after five long years of focusing mainly on the white-ball arena.
Since going down with a career-threatening back injury in September 2018 during the Asia Cup in UAE and undergoing sustained rehabilitation work for the same, Hardik hasn't featured in Test cricket for India. The cricketer was an integral part of the set-up at the start of India's 2018-19 overseas cycle and has played 11 Tests with 532 runs and 17 wickets.
The 29-year-old continues to inspire calls for his influx into the Indian Test set-up since prominent experts believe the team miss a fast-bowling allrounder even as the incredible rise of Ravindra Jadeja has given the side a world-beating spin allrounder at No.6 or 7.
Ganguly urges Hardik to rejuvenate focus on Test cricket
Ganguly being one of the voices that seek the return of Hardik to Test cricket feels the time is ripe for the earnest cricketer to reconsider making a comeback to the longest format.
Speaking to Sports Today, the former skipper said "I hope" the player listens to his word and rejuvenates focus on adding caps to his Test match career for the country.
"And I hope Hardik Pandya is listening. I want to see him play Test cricket, especially in these conditions as well," Ganguly said.
Previously, too, former Australia captain Ian Chappell had been vocal in urging the Indian selectors to query if Hardik Pandya is willing to do the hard yards for Test cricket. When the question was presented to the cricketer himself, he said it would be unfair on him to take one spot from another player without earning it back. How Hardik plans to earn the spot back without playing any first-class cricket, however, remains a big question mark.