All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been asked to join a camp at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, specially designed for white-ball specialists.
The camp got underway on March 5 but Hardik has sought some extra time to attend the camp. A brainchild of head coach Rahul Dravid and the selectors, the camp has been organized given the T20 World Cup is scheduled to be played in Australia in October this year.
“Although the World Cup is more than six months away, planning can start now. The coaches and selectors want to assess the fitness of the players and take stock of things for the big event,” a report in Cricbuzz states.
A total of 25 cricketers have reportedly joined the camp in Bengaluru. With Hardik asked to report at the NCA, the selectors have made it clear that the injury-prone all-rounder is in their plans for the T20 showpiece event later this year.
Incidentally, the all-rounder from Baroda has not played any competitive cricket since the T20 World Cup last year. Hardik didn’t look fully fit at the mega event and also didn’t bowl regularly. His batting was also impacted and the celebrated all-rounder didn’t live up to expectations in the middle order.
Since then, he has been working on his fitness and is expected to join the Gujarat Titans ahead of IPL 2022, which begins on March 26.
Hardik Pandya to lead Gujarat Titans in IPL 2022
The 28-year-old all-rounder will lead the newly added Gujarat team in the 15th edition of the cash-rich league. Hardik, who was released by the Mumbai Indians ahead of the auction, was picked by the CVC Capital-owned franchise in the draft.
This is the first time Hardik will lead a side in the IPL. Gujarat will begin their IPL 2022 campaign against the Lucknow Supergiants in their opening match at the Wankhede Stadium on March 28.
Gujarat Titans squad: Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan, Shubman Gill, Mohammed Shami, Lockie Ferguson, Abhinav Sadarangani, Rahul Tewatia, Noor Ahmed, R Sai Kishore, Dominic Drakes, Jayant Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Darshan Nalkande, Yash Dayal, Alzarri Joseph, Pradeep Sangwan, David Miller, Wriddhiman Saha, Gurkeerat Singh, Matthew Wade, Varun Aaron, B Sai Sudarshan