Hardik Pandya. Photograph:( AFP )
Ace Indian all-rounder recalls how he felt his career was over after being stretchered off in the Asia Cup 2018 match against Pakistan.
Ace Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya is concerned about risking his injury-ravaged back for Test cricket, at the moment, as he said that he understands his “importance” in the limited-overs formats. Hardik last appeared in a Test match back in September 2018 but has been a vital cog in India’s white-ball circuits.
Hardik is of the view that playing Test cricket following his back surgery will be a challenge and is wary of risking his back in the longest format of the game. Hardik further added that playing Test cricket has drained him on many occasions after which he couldn’t perform up to his potential in white-ball cricket as energy is one of his traits. He also recalled how he felt his career was over after being stretchered off in the Asia Cup 2018 match against Pakistan.
"I see myself as a back-up seamer for sure. After my back surgery, I don't know, playing Test cricket right now will be a challenge," the 26-year-old told 'Cricbuzz in Conversation'.
"If I was a Test player and didn't have the game in white-ball cricket, I could go now and risk my back in Tests but I know my importance in white-ball cricket.
"It has happened that I played Tests and then didn't do well in ODIs and T20s because my plus point is my energy," he explained.
Hardik’s first back injury came in 2018 when he was stretchered off the field during an Asia Cup match against Pakistan. The flamboyant all-rounder, recalling the incident, said he thought his career was over that day.
"I genuinely thought that my career is over because I'd never seen anyone being stretchered off. I was knocked out for 10 minutes, after that the pain never went down.
"What happens to me is that my body goes into recovery mode straight away... Asia Cup was anyway going to be my last series before being rested but then the injury happened," he remembered.