India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been out of action since September due to a back injury but is now all set to return to action in the Ranji Trophy match for Baroda against Mumbai.
Hardik was expected to return earlier after he was picked in India A squad for their three-match one-day series against New Zealand A, however, 25-year-old opted for Ranji Trophy games over spending time with India A.
In an interview with Times Now, Pandya revealed he decided to play in Ranji Trophy rather than India A as he was aiming to make a comeback to the Test side currently playing matches in Australia, and as the ODIs are after Tests Down Under.
"If I am playing a Test match, I should play a four-day game (rather) than one-day. Because one-day is later on. I am focusing right now that if I can make it to the team, because there is scope of me making a comeback into the Test team, if I am fit to play a Test match. That's why I wanted to take my time and see where exactly I stand in Ranji Trophy," Pandya said.
"Playing a Test match is a different league. The workload goes very high, so I wanted to see if I can manage the workload. I knew I would get enough match preparation before the Australia ODIs. Therefore I focused on playing Ranji Trophy."
If national selectors do decide to add Pandya to India squad, it will happen only after the Pert Test, which got underway on 14 December.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
The stated quarantine period of 14 days in Brisbane before the start of the Australia tour, and the venues and formats for the mega home series against England will be discussed at the BCCI Apex Council meeting on Saturday.
With the two white ball series (T20Is and ODIs) slated before the marquee four-Test rubber, the selection committee under Sunil Joshi's chairmanship is expected to pick a jumbo squad for all three formats when it meets later this week.
De Kock, who struck nine fours and three sixes and skipper Rohit Sharma (35 off 36 balls), laid the foundation for the emphatic win with their 94-run first-wicket stand.