Off The Field

Ranji Trophy: Hardik Pandya skips tournament to focus on white-ball comeback for India

Written by Abhishek Patil

All-rounder Hardik Pandya will skip the Ranji Trophy starting on February 10 to focus on his India comeback in white-ball cricket.

Kedar Devdhar was named skipper of the Baroda team on Monday.

Vishnu Solanki was named Devdhar’s deputy as the Baroda Cricket Association announced a 20-member squad ahead of the first phase of the tournament.

However, Hardik’s name is missing from the squad list.

Hardik has remained on the sidelines ever since the T20 World Cup last year, making himself unavailable for national selection due to back injury and further rehabilitation.

The 28-year-old, who received a lot of flak for not bowling during India’s dismal T20 World Cup campaign, hasn’t played red ball cricket since December 2018 and has often admitted that injuries have put a spanner on his prospects in the longest format of the game.

It is expected that Hardik will return to competitive cricket in the Indian Premier League, where he is set to make his maiden appearance as a full-time captain with the CVC-owned Ahmedabad franchise.

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Abhishek Patil