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Hardik Pandya must bowl to be considered for Tests, says Virat Kohli

Hardik Pandya scored 210 runs in three ODIs and 78 runs in three T20Is but bowled just four overs in the white-ball leg of India’s tour of Australia.

By: Express News Service | Updated: December 10, 2020 8:18:58 am
Virat Kohli celebrates a wicket with teammate Hardik Pandya. (Reuters)

India captain Virat Kohli has said that all-rounder Hardik Pandya needs to be bowling at full tilt if he has to be considered for long-form cricket. Playing purely as a batsman, Pandya was in devastating form in the white-ball leg of the series in Australia, and was adjudged Player of the Series in T20Is. But apart from a four-over spell in the second ODI in Sydney, Pandya — who is inching towards full fitness following a back surgery last year — has not bowled all season. Considering his workload and the unforgiving international schedule ahead, Kohli is making sure that Pandya is not rushed to the bowling crease.

“Test cricket is a very different challenge altogether and we need him to bowl. We’ve spoken to him about it. That’s when he becomes that one guy who brings a lot of balance. If you’ve seen our cricket overseas as well, in South Africa and England, we were able to compete for longer periods through Test matches because of the fact that he brought a lot of balance in terms of his bowling. We’ve communicated that to him,” Kohli said at a press conference after India’s 12-run loss to Australia in the third T20I.

Warner ruled out of Adelaide Test

Australia opener David Warner will miss the opening pink-ball Test against India beginning in Adelaide on December 17 due to a groin injury, which he had suffered in the second ODI in Sydney. The injury had ruled the 34-year-old from the final ODI and the three-match T20I series as well. The team management is closely monitoring his status and it is hoped that he will return for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne starting on December 26. “I feel I have made great progress in a short amount of time and it’s best for me to stay here in Sydney to continue working on getting back to full fitness,” Warner told cricket.com.au. “The injury feels a lot better, but I need to be able to satisfy in my own mind and to my team-mates that it is 100 per cent ready for Test match conditions,” he added.

Warner’s unavailability will be a huge blow to the home team, and the news comes on the heels of young Test hopeful Will Pucovski getting hit on the helmet and displaying symptoms of concussion during the three-day tour match between Australia A and India A. The knock on the head has put his Test debut in doubt. In such a scenario, Queensland opener Joe Burns, who has endured a torrid time this summer averaging an abysmal 8.71 in long-form cricket, is poised to be pencilled in as one of the openers for Adelaide, along with Victorian Marcus Harris.

Cameron Green picked for three-day game against Indians

Western Australian all-rounder Cameron Green has been included in the 12-man Australia A squad that will take on a full-strength Indian team in a pink-ball warm-up game that kicks off on Friday, giving him another opportunity to stake his claim for a Test debut in Adelaide. The 21-year-old has been in great form this summer, and hit a century — 114 not out —- against India A in the three-day game earlier this week, intensifying the hype around him. Green is certain to play in the warm-up game, along with Burns, Sean Abbott and Mitchell Swepson, who have also been included in the side led by Alex Carey.

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