Having recently tied the knot with Serbian actress Natasha Stankovich, Hardik Pandya looks all set to wear the Indian jersey again this month. The all-rounder who was out of action for quite a while now is expected to be back in the Indian team when Virat Kohli’s men will take on Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in Down Under.
India is set to play five T20Is against New Zealand in a series that will start from the 24th of this month. The matches will be played in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, and Mount Maunganui respectively. After that, the team will play three ODIs and two Tests against the Blackcaps. While Pandya’s place seems to be nailed in the T20I squad, the same cannot be said for the ODI and Tests squad.
It has been reported that the selectors are considering the all-rounder for the ODI team, but he might miss the chance to wear the whites in this series. Prior to the main series, India A side will engage in a short, little tour of New Zealand. In order to get him acclimatized to the surroundings, he has been selected for that tour as well. Given the fact that he was sidelined because of an injury for a long while, and has undergone a surgery, this seems to be a good move before getting him back to the first team.
Some other team news
While Hardik Pandya’s return is good news for almost everyone, it might prove to be a letter of rejection for all-rounder Shivam Dube. In Pandya’s absence, Dube was included in the side. However, he has proved to be inconsistent so far, and has failed to nail his place in the team. Though he has got a half-century in the recently concluded T20Is against West Indies, his bowling hasn’t impressed many.
Moreover, he hasn’t been consistent in the chances he has got so far. In the 7 T20Is he has played so far for his country, Dube has picked up only three wickets. Barring that one 54 against West Indies, he has failed to produce another 50+ score.