Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya will continue to work on his fitness as the 28-year-old is set to skip the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021 tournament. The Indian international represents Baroda in the domestic competition but has decided to not take part as he will undergo an extensive rehabilitation program in order to regain bowling fitness. All Good Things Must End: Hardik Pandya as MI Releases Him.

Hardik Pandya has a history of back issues in the past which has seen him turn more into a full-time batsman rather than an all-rounder in recent times with bowling taking a back seat. However, the 28-year-old is adamant to get himself back in prime condition post-surgery and re-establish himself as one of the star players in the national team. Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22 Preview: Check Out Full Schedule, Timings, Date, Venue and Live Streaming Details of Domestic Cricket Tournament.

‘The Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) has sent an e-mail to Hardik enquiring about his availability for the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He has rarely played for Baroda in the last three years. However, he gave a one-line reply that he is currently doing rehab in Mumbai’ a senior official from the BCA told PTI.

The official further added that the 28-year-old isn’t dealing with any injuries at the moment but is working to get make himself available as a bowler to suit the team’s needs. ‘it is understood that he is trying to do some strength and conditioning module for his back which is no longer in the best shape since surgery in 2019,’ he said.

Despite Hardik’s absence, Baroda can count on the services of his elder brother Krunal Pandya, who has joined the team for the tournament. The left-arm spinner took part in a week-long camp with the first team and will be available for selection.

Baroda are placed in Elite Group B of Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021 alongside the likes of Mumbai, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu among others. Baroda haven’t made it to the finals of the competition since the format changed in the 2004-05 season and will hope to put an end to that run this time around.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 08, 2021 12:24 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website