India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the two-match Test series against New Zealand, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Saturday. “He travelled to London and was accompanied by NCA Head Physio Ashish Kaushik for a review by spinal surgeon Dr James Allibone. Hardik will be under rehab at the National Cricket Academy until he regains full match fitness,” the BCCI statement read.
Pandya had recently failed the fitness test in his bid to make a national comeback and he had to pull out of the India A’s tour of New Zealand. Vijay Shankar was drafted into the team whose fixtures in New Zealand included two 50-over warm-up games, three List A games and two four-day ‘Tests’ against the home A team.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had also revealed that Hardik hadn’t achieved full fitness following his back surgery and needs time to get back to full fitness. “He can’t play right now. It will take some time before he gets fit,” Ganguly had said.
Hardik last played for India in a T20I against South Africa in September last year.
After the conclusion of five-match T20I series and three-match ODI series, India and New Zealand will lock horns in two-match Test series at Wellington and Christchurch respectively.