Hardik Pandya hits NCA nets on road to recovery

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who is recovering from a back injury, underwent a productive net session at the National Cricket Academy.

Hardik Pandya underwent a successful surgery in October last year to treat an acute lower-back injury.   -  AP Photo

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who is recovering from a back injury, underwent a productive net session at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) here on Wednesday.

Pandya was seen facing throwdown in the nets and mainly played with a straight bat. It is not yet clear if he makes a comeback in the South Africa ODIs next month or the IPL.

Earlier this month, Pandya was ruled out of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand after failing to regain full match fitness.

The decision was taken after the 26-year-old consulted spinal surgeon James Allibone in the United Kingdom.

Pandya underwent a successful surgery in October last year to treat an acute lower-back injury and has remained out of action since.

Read: Hardik Pandya should not rush his comeback, says Zaheer Khan

He last played for India during the T20 International series against South Africa, taking part in the third match in Bengaluru. He has not played Test cricket since the Southampton match against England in September 2018.

The back problem had kept him in and out of the national team since mid 2018.

Returning from the surgery, Pandya was last month pulled out of the India A team’s tour of New Zealand after failing mandatory fitness tests in Mumbai. The selectors had picked him in the squad without testing him in the Ranji Trophy matches.

The all-rounder had also taken part in a practice session with the Indian team before an ODI against Australia in Mumbai last month.

Pandya’s fitness is important for India’s T20 World Cup plans as his medium fast bowling and explosive hitting gives the team the required balance.

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