Former Australia player Ian Chappell feels India should add the all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the Test side when they will tour later this year as he will play a crucial role for India in front of the challenge posed by a strong batting line-up on their home soil. India are all set to face Australia in a full series, including four Tests which is scheduled to begin in October and will continue until January 2021.
Pandya has last played in Tests in 2018 and he has recently recovered from a back injury. He is a vital cog in India's limited-overs set-up. "It will help if Hardik Pandya is available. He gives India an extra bowling option to maintain the pressure when the leading fast bowlers need a rest," Chappell wrote his column for 'ESPNCricinfo'.
Hardik Pandya had recently talked about the challenge that Test cricket poses for him now given his back injury, which needed surgery last year too. He also said that he understands his importance in limited-overs format for India. However, Chappel thought this is his chance to gradually build up in the three Tests before the SCG match, where he could play as the third seamer so that a second spinner can be added in the playing XI.
Meanwhile, the legend of the game also felt Indian selectors need to take tough calls while choosing spinners among Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav since Ashwin has a great record but not in Australia.
"Ravindra Jadeja's all-round talents and improved bowling form make him a legitimate challenger, while Kuldeep Yadav's wrist-spin is the biggest wicket-taking threat on Australian pitches. The decision will call for brave selections," he expressed.
Chappell again added that India's biggest challenge in the Test series will be a strong Australian batting line-up, which now doesn’t depend on David Warner and Steve Smith although they both have been doing well in Tests.
Under Virat Kohli, India won their maiden Test series in 2018-19 against them, after trying for seven decades although the team didn’t have Warner and Smith. But they are now back after serving one-year ball-tampering bans and India will have to face tough challenges when they will take on them.