After initially being included in the squad for the first two Tests against Sri Lanka, all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been withdrawn from the squad, and will instead undergo a strength and conditioning camp at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
The decision to rest Pandya was taken by the selection committee, in consultation with the Indian team management, taking into consideration Pandya’s “heavy recent workload.” He made his Test debut earlier this year in July in Sri Lanka, and has been a strong presence in the Indian team across all three formats. In total, Pandya has played three Tests, 22 One Day Internationals and five T20 internationals.
India will be taking on Sri Lanka in an ODI and T20 series too after the Tests, before their challenging tour to South Africa in January. The BCCI said in a press release, “Considering Mr Pandya’s heavy recent workload, the decision was made to negate any possibility of a major injury concern. Mr Pandya will undergo a period of strength and conditioning at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.”
This is what the Indian squad for the Test matches against Sri Lanka looks like after Pandya’s omission:
Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, M Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma.