Sydney: Swashbuckling India all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Tuesday said he was “returning home” two days after promising to extend his stay in Australia for the upcoming Test series after an incredible outing in the limited-overs leg.
Although he did not start bowling regularly after coming back from a back surgery, Pandya’s match at the end of the tour’s only limited overs sparked hopes that he would be considered a Test choice.
Those beliefs were reinforced when the all-rounder, after Sunday’s game-winning attempt, said he was reluctant to stay behind if the team wanted to manage it.
But two days later, he confirmed that he was going back to India.
“I feel like I have to go back home and spend some time with my family. I haven’t seen my baby for four months, so I want to spend some time with the family right now,” Pandya said after the third and final T20 International against Australia.
“Maybe in the future. I don’t know, maybe,” he added when asked about his Test comeback.
Before that, when asked if he would like to return to the Test series starting December 17, Pandya said, “It’s a different ball game, I think it should be. I mean, I don’t mind but at the end of the day, call management.”
In the company of their skipper Virat Kohli, Pandya threatened to take India home again but Australia were nervous with a consolation win after accepting the series in the second match on Sunday.
For the full impact he made with his dazzling stroke, Pandya was named Man of the Series.
“I was quite pleased and didn’t mind getting the Man of the Series title, but it was a team effort.
“After the second ODI, we all treat it as a four-match series and we’re hoping we win three out of four and that’s what we got, so it’s very nice,” Pandya said.
After losing the first two matches, India lost the one-day rubber 1-2 but won the T20I series in the first and second matches respectively.
Pandya underwent spinal surgery in the UK in October last year. His lower back has been bothering him since the Test series in England in 2018.
The surgery kept him out of action for almost a year, and the all-rounder finally played T20 International against South Africa in September 2019 at home.
He then missed the Test matches against the same opposition, the home series against Bangladesh and the West Indies, the T20I series against Sri Lanka and the home series against Australia, and the tour of New Zealand earlier this year.

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