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.