Hardik Pandya, who underwent lower back surgery in October, has indicated that he might join the Indian squad “midway” into the New Zealand series in the last week of January 2020. The 25-year-old has also planned to feature in Indian Premier League (IPL), and then be in contention for T20 World Cup in October 2020.
Pandya’s match in national colours was in September when South Africa arrived in India. Ever since then, he has been out of action. On Monday, the Mumbai Indian’s allrounder talked about how delaying the back surgery wasn’t an option.
“We decided to do the surgery now because we saw the future and thought this is the right time,” Pandya said as quoted by IANS.
“We thought this was the right time because even if I take four months, I will be coming back before the New Zealand series, mid-way actually. That was the plan that I play some international games, the IPL and then the World T20. The biggest concern was the World T20 which touch wood is now in place,” he added.
Pandya mentioned that he had been carrying the injury, and “managing” it, for five years.
“I was managing the back, tried everything possible not to get into surgery or anything. After trying everything, we came to the conclusion that it wasn’t working. I noticed that I was not able to give my 100 per cent and that meant I was not doing justice to myself and the team. That is when I decided to go for the surgery,” he said.
Upon his return to Mumbai, the allrounder said he was focusing on staying patient and cited the examples of recoveries of Jasprit Bumrah and Pat Cummins. Although he did not rule out featuring for Baroda in the ongoing Ranji Trophy, he did not specify any date of return.
After hosting West Indies in December, and then Australia for three ODIs at home in January, India will travel to New Zealand to play five T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests.
Pandya has scored 532 runs and taken 17 wickets in 11 Tests. In 54 ODIs, he has scored 937 runs and taken 54 wickets. In 40 T20I matches, he has 310 runs and 38 wickets.