File image of Sunil Gavaskar.© X (Twitter)

Legendary India batter Sunil Gavaskar has stated that the key to India becoming “invincible” in Test cricket lies on how Hardik Pandya is utilised. The all-rounder played a starring role as India lifted the 2024 T20 World Cup in June. Now, Gavaskar has called for him to come back to the Test setup, with a packed season of Test matches coming up for India later this year. Rohit Sharma and co. are set to play three tests against New Zealand in October, and then tour Australia for a four-Test series in late November. Gavaskar has stated that star all-rounder Hardik Pandya can be the difference-maker during this period.

Gavaskar has opined that if Pandya begins to bowl, Team India will be unstoppable irrespective of the conditions or the opposition up against them.

“I’m hoping that, in these next two months, there will be some effort made to try and convince Hardik Pandya to come back to Test cricket,” Gavaskar told RevSportz.

“If he starts batting at no. 6 or 7, maybe bowling just ten overs a day, but there with his batting, this Indian team will be pretty much invincible in any country, on any kind of surface,” Gavaskar added.

Pandya has not played Test match cricket in nearly six years, and has played only 11 Tests in his entire career. However, with a rise in form and a gaping hole for a pace-bowling all-rounder still existing in Tests, he could be convinced to return.

Newly-appointed Team India head coach Gautam Gambhir will have his tenure tested for the first time later this year as India continue their 2023-25 World Test Championship (WTC) cycle.

Pandya was heavily criticised during IPL 2024 after taking over captaincy of the Mumbai Indians from Rohit Sharma, as the franchise finished bottom of the table. However, his performances in India’s victorious 2024 T20 World Cup campaign has changed public opinion about Pandya once again.


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