‘Why am I hyping Hardik so much?’: Ashwin’s explosive response to Pandya’s genuine comment on Test return

Hardik shut down all speculation about his return to Test cricket for the World T20 final with a genuine remark that elicited a thunderous response from fellow teammate Ravichandran Ashwin on Tuesday.

Moments after India advanced to the World Test Championship final for the second time in a row, a debate erupted over whether Hardik Pandya should return to the Test squad for the pivotal match against Australia at The Oval. Hardik, on the other hand, put an end to all the speculation with a genuine remark that elicited a thunderous response from fellow teammate Ravichandran Ashwin on Tuesday.

Hardik has not played a Test match since 2018 due to a recurring back injury. But, after an impressive run as an all-rounder in white-ball cricket since his injury return in June last year, and with India in need of a balance in the side with a fast-bowling all-rounder in English conditions, talk of Hardik’s return to red-ball cricket had begun.

The India star, however, cut the discussion short, explaining that it would be ‘unethical’ for him to return to the team for the final and take someone else’s place when he hasn’t contributed anything to the team’s run to the big match.

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“No. I am an ethically strong individual. I didn’t do 10% to get there. I am not even in the top 1%. So my showing up and taking someone’s place will be unethical. If I want to play Test cricket, I’ll have to put in the effort. As a result, I will not be available for the WTC final or any future test series until I feel I have earned my spot,” Hardik had stated.

Speaking on Hardik’s comment’s on his YouTube channel, Ashwin said hailed the all-rounder and doffed his hat off for the “proper statement”.

“We’ve reached the WTC final, and many people believe Hardik Pandya should return to the Test team. Of course, those opinions were valid because Hardik has performed admirably in the few Tests he has played in England. ‘I will come back when I feel it’s the right time to play Test cricket, and I haven’t even played a one percent role in qualifying for the finals,’ Hardik says. Hardik Pandya has made an appropriate statement to the cricket community and the entire world “said the seasoned spinner.

“We have a habit of blaming others for our failures. We believe in superstitions or find other reasons because we are disappointed at the end of the day. However, Hardik has admitted that he is ineligible to play Test cricket at the moment. That is a significant statement from a player like him. “Congratulations to Hardik Pandya,” he added.

Hardik’s captaincy in the first ODI against Australia, and how he used Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami to script Australia’s collapse from 155 for three to 188, was also lauded by Ashwin.

“Why am I making such a big deal about Hardik? Because he led us in the first ODI against Australia in Rohit Sharma’s absence. Many people have praised him for not backing down from a challenge. Australia was on track for a massive total. But, even after the spinners took two wickets, Hardik played a role in bringing back Siraj and Shami because he felt there was something in the wicket for the pacers. “It is a phenomenal achievement by India to get a team all out for 188 from 155 for three,” he said.

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