New Delhi, Nov 2: All-rounder Hardik Pandya on Wedesday (Nov 2) got maiden Test call-up as the 15-member Indian Test squad announced for the first two matches against England, starting November 9 in Rajkot.
The 23-year-old Baroda cricketer was the lone new face in the Test squad, whose selection into the Test fold came up as a surprise.
Several cricket fans even questioned Hardik's selection into the Test side for he has just started his international career while an experienced Yuvraj Singh, who has been making the right noises in the Ranji Trophy has once again been ignored.
To be part of the Indian 🇮🇳 Test squad is a dream come true for me. pic.twitter.com/OZUFAHo97p— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) November 2, 2016
The selection committee chaired by MSK Prasad fielded maximum queries regarding Pandya's inclusion and he stated that his "all-round abilities" with a sea change in attitude after working under India A coach Rahul Dravid went in his favour.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my supporters, family members & the selectors for having faith in me.✌️️#INDvENG— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) November 2, 2016
"If you look at Hardik Pandya, his pace has increased. His overall personality has mellowed down. He did extremely well in the ODI series and also during the A tour Down Under," Prasad told the mediapersons.
Prasad admitted that Pandya is one of the few seamer all-rounders that India has at the moment.
"We all have been trying to find an all-rounder after Kapil Dev. In case we play three spinners, he can be the second seamer and also can bat," Prasad reasoned.
Asked about Pandya's attitude, Prasad said: "We all know he is a bit hyper. But he has worked hard under Rahul Dravid and under chief coach Anil Kumble."
However, not all were impressed with Pandya's inclusion into the Test squad.
Here's how people reacted on Twitter after Hardik Pandya's selection:
Welcome back Ishant Sharma. Great chance for Hardik Pandya to prove himself and Gautam Gambhir surely in the XI. #INDvENG— Rahul Dravid (@rahul_dravid19) November 2, 2016
Pandya gets selected for #IndvEng Test. I want our selectors to go through a Dope Test.— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) November 2, 2016
Unbelievable that Yuvraj Singh gets ignored once again despite scoring 500+ runs in his last 3 Ranji games & Pandya gets picked up. #INDvENG— Áßhi (@Abhi__Original) November 2, 2016
The team is gud but I strongly feel that Yuvraj Singh must have been given a chance.The way he played in Ranji was Fantastic. #INDvENG— Anshuman Sail (@AnshumanSail) November 2, 2016
Hardik Pandya in the test squad???!!!!!! I guess the selectors are giving "HARDIK" shubkamna to the Indian team by keeping him#INDvENG— Aqib Khan (@aqibkhan1393) November 2, 2016