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Pandya ruled out of New Zealand Tests over fitness concerns
India News

Pandya ruled out of New Zealand Tests over fitness concerns

Hardik Pandya has been forced out of the upcoming two-Test series against New Zealand after failing to show signs of steady improvement following his back surgery.

Pandya underwent a lower-back surgery in October last year but has not donned the national jersey since then.

The 26-year-old all-rounder had travelled to London recently to review the progress of his recovery. He has now been advised to prolong his rehabilitation period at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

"Team India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand," the BCCI said in a statement.

Pandya, a key member of India's white-ball line-up over the past few years, was named in India A's squad for the three one-dayers in New Zealand.

However, he was subsequently withdrawn ahead of the contests with Vijay Shankar drafted in the side as the like-for-like replacement.

Although Pandya is considered fit enough to execute batting duties, concerns persist over his ability to manage the bowling workload.

The team management is unwilling to risk their star player in the longest format, which requires expansive stamina in the field.

Pandya has featured in 11 Tests for India with his last five-day appearance coming against England in September 2018.

India have also been dealt with the injury blow to senior paceman Ishant Sharma before the first Test against New Zealand due to commence on February 21.