Hardik Pandya’s Fitness Is Still A Big Concern Ahead Of IPL 2022: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has asked about 25 national players, who are not part of the ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka, to report at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. The players will undergo a 10-day fitness camp at the NCA before the IPL starts on March 26.
The national selection committee wants the national players’ fitness concerns to be tracked in detail ahead of the gruelling IPL season.
All the contracted and non-contracted national level players like KL Rahul, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, among others, have been asked to report to the NCA.
The likes of Surya Kumar Yadav, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Deepak Chahar, who have suffered injuries during recent white-ball matches, are already at the NCA and have stated their rehabilitation. Those who are playing in the Ranji Trophy will have to reach Bangalore after the third and final round league games, which ends March 6.
However, one big name that is missing is that of superstar all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Uncertainties around Hardik Pandya’s fitness continue to remain. A senior official has told abplive.com that Pandya has not been updating BCCI of his fitness and hence he has not been invited to the fitness camp.
“Hardik was not asked to join the camp as he did not inform the board about his fitness till now,” a senior official said.
Hardik Pandya hasn’t played a single high-level game since the T20 World Cup in November. Because of his back injury issues, Pandya hasn’t been bowling full-tilt for a long time. And has been away from the longer formats; his last red-ball game came in 2018 and he skipped this season’s Ranji Trophy as well. He will be leading the Gujarat Titans in the IPL 2022.
Last month, chief selector Chetan Sharma made it clear that though Hardik Pandya has been working on his fitness over the past three months, he will make his return to the national squad only if he is fully match-fit and bowling-fit.
“Hardik was a very important part of the Indian team. But after the injuries, until he is 100% fit, until we get a confirmation he is 100% fit, ready to go and that he is bowling and is match fit, we can’t consider him,” Chetan Sharma said.