Gujarat Titans’ captain and all-rounder, Hardik Pandya, has reportedly arrived at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for a final fitness test ahead of the IPL 2022 season, which begins on March 26.
He will undergo full-blown fitness tests for the next two days where an assessment will be made. Ever since his back surgery, Hardik hasn’t bowled at his best and has been barely providing help with the ball for the Indian team.
However, this time around, he asserted that he will put his fitness ahead of the team’s needs and come back when he can bowl consistently. It will be interesting to see whether he can do so when the IPL season begins.
“Hardik will be at the NCA for the next two days and appear in the various fitness tests. He is a centrally contracted cricketer and has not played any cricket since T20 World Cup in UAE.”
“He would need to pass the fitness test as it has been mandatory for some time now. Last year, even Shreyas Iyer appeared for a fitness test post shoulder surgery before playing IPL,” a BCCI source told PTI.
The Indian team management has been keeping a close eye on the 28-year-old at a 5-day training camp in Baroda. Although he might be able to play as a pure batter for the Titans, it is highly unlikely that he can do the same for India.
“If Gujarat is looking at a pure batter, a skipper, and a finisher, Hardik, in all likelihood, is ready but it will be interesting to see what is NCA’s Sports Science and Medicine team’s take on his bowling. Is he ready to bowl at 135 clicks upwards?” another source in the know of developments said.
Nevertheless, Hardik when fit is truly an asset to the Indian white-ball team and they will be desperately hoping he regains match fitness in the IPL and comes back to challenge Venkatesh Iyer in the Indian team.
Gujarat Titans squad for IPL 2022 season:
Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan, Shubman Gill, Mohammed Shami, Jason Roy, Lockie Ferguson, Abhinav Sadarangani, Rahul Tewatia, Noor Ahmad, R Sai Kishore, Dominic Drakes, Jayant Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Darshan Nalkande, Yash Dayal, Alzarri Joseph, Pradeep Sangwan, David Miller, Wriddhiman Saha, Matthew Wade, Gurkeerat Singh, Varun Aaron, B Sai Sudharshan.
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