Ricky Ponting Reveals Hardik Pandya Was Offered Chance To Play In WTC Final, Gujarat Titans Captain Refused Due To THIS Reason

June 08,2023

Gujarat Titans captain and all-rounder Hardik Pandya was given the chance to play in the World Test Championship (WTC) Final against Australia that has gotten underway at the Kennington Oval in London on Wednesday. Team India have their backs to the wall, after Australia piled up 327 for 3 after Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bowl first.

Pandya has played in 11 Tests in his career so far and averages around 31 with both bat and ball. He has scored 1 century and 4 fifties and has a best of 6/50 with the ball. He is also India’s T20I skipper but has been replaced by Shardul Thakur as the all-rounder in the side.

Former Australia captain and Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting called for Pandya’s inclusion into the Indian squad and on Wednesday revealed that the all-rounder was offered a chance to play in the WTC final as a ‘one-off’ match.

“He made it clear that he feels his body won’t get through the rigours of Test cricket. He was thrown up in a game like this what do you think about playing in a game like this, just a one-off Test just to help the balance of the side? And his reply apparently was that he didn’t feel it was fair on everyone else who have been through this journey in the last couple of years leading into this game,” Ponting said on air while commentating on Day 1.

Earlier former England captain Nasser Hussain questioned Pandya’s absence as Rohit Sharma struggled with the balance of his playing 11 and had to drop Ravichandran Ashwin to play Shardul Thakur. “At the toss this morning, it was so apparent that India were not sure about their side and Australia were crystal clear and Cameron Green has a lot to do with that. He just balances the side away from home in England.

“He is the sort of cricketer that India would have loved to have. Of course, Shardul Thakur is a seam-bowling all-rounder of kinds. In India, you've got Jadeja, Ashwin and Axar Patel. They are complete all-rounders in Indian conditions but what about a seam-bowling all-rounder when you go overseas? Where is Hardik Pandya?” Hussain asked on air during the final session’s play on Wednesday.