The Board of Control for Cricket in India will take a final call in the second fortnight of March, just a week before the first Indian Premier League game between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Mumbai Indians will till then will have an anxious wait over the fitness status of their premier all-rounder. The Vadodara cricketer is nursing a sore back that forced him out of the five One Day Internationals and the two-match T20 International series against Australia.
Pandya had undergone a fitness test in Mumbai. He has been advised to strengthen his core before returning to action. The decision to keep Pandya out of action is made to help him attain complete fitness for the ICC World Cup, starting on May 30. However, a decision on his availability for the IPL will only be taken after three weeks, national daily Hindustan Times has reported quoting sources in the BCCI.
“He needs to work on his core muscles. We conduct fitness tests between series and the doctors felt that it is important for him to strengthen his core muscles and a routine will be designed for the all-rounder at the NCA which he will follow for the next three weeks. The core is one of the integral parts of a sportsman’s body and that needs to be in its best shape,” the paper has reported quoting the source.
On his participation in the IPL, the source is quoted as saying that “(It is) too early to speak about that at present. He has a stiff back and it is not like he is carrying any injury. After three weeks of training at the NCA, he will once again undergo a fitness test and the decision on his participation in the T20 league will be taken then.
Pandya has been replaced by Ravindra Jadeja for the five ODIs against Australia. There is no replacement named for him for the two T20Is.