Bengaluru, February 1: Hardik Pandya on Saturday (February 1) has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand, beginning on February 21, at the Basin Reserve Stadium, Wellington, to continue his recovery from a back surgery.
"Team India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand. He travelled to London and was accompanied by NCA Head Physio Ashish Kaushik for a review by spinal surgeon Dr James Allibone," BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.
"Hardik will be under rehab at the National Cricket Academy until he regains full match fitness," said the statement.
Pandya has been trying to recover from a back surgery and he was quite optimistic about returning to international cricket during the tour of New Zealand. It has now been evident that the powers that be are not happy about his match fitness level and feel that Pandya needs more time to gain full fitness.
Hardik was included in the India A side for two fifty over matches to test his fitness but later he was withdrawn and Vijay Shankar was named as his replacement.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had also recently said that Hardik hadn't achieved full fitness following his back surgery and needed more time to get back to full fitness. "He can't play right now. It will take some time before he gets fit," Ganguly had said.
Hardik last played for India in a T20I match against South Africa in September last year.
The form and fitness of Hardik is quite crucial for India as this is the year of ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled for October in Australia. In the absence of India have been giving chances to Shivam Dube in the pace-bowling all-rounder slot but his performances have been mixed at the best.
In that sense, India will be making sure that Hardik returns to the field as a fully fit player.