The Rohit Sharma-led Indian cricket team suffered a rare loss at home in the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia in Indore on Friday. On a rank turner, most of the Indian batters barring the exception of Cheteshwar Pujara and Shreyas Iyer, could not dish out a gritty display as India lost by nine wickets. With the win, Australia have become the first team to enter the World Test Championship final while India’s chances are in a bit of jeopardy. They need to win the fourth Test to ensure that their qualification chances are not dependent on other teams’ results.
After the match, former Australia captain Ian Chappell said that Hardik Pandya should have played the Test series.
“I don’t understand why Hardik Pandya isn’t in the Indian team,” Chappell told ESPNCricinfo. “People keep telling me he can’t bowl this much. But again, are you listening to the medical people or having a chat with the cricket people? If Pandya wants to play, he should be in the Indian side. He’s a good batsman, he bowls decently, he is a damn good fielder.”
“To find the right balance, Australia needed Cameron Green in there. And India needs Hardik Pandya,” Chappell added.
While Pandya regularly leads India in T20Is, his last appearance in Tests was in 2018. Hardik has so far played 11 Tests scoring 532 runs and taking 17 wickets.
Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma has said that the focus should not be on the pitch, but on the performance of the players.
“I am not worried about the pitch. Honestly, this pitch talk is just getting too much. Every time we play in India, there is only focus on the pitch. Why are people not asking me about Nathan Lyon? How well he bowled, how well (Cheteshwar) Pujara batted in the second innings, how well Usman Khawaja played! Those are the things if you ask me I can give you details of, not the pitch because we focus too much on the pitch here in India and I don’t feel it’s necessary,” said the India skipper in the press conference after the Indore Test.
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