The Indian think-tank might have missed a trick when Hardik Pandya flew back home after the conclusion of the limited-overs leg of the Australian tour.

Game-changers come rare and the 27-year-old Hardik is one. Hugely influential in the ODIs and Twenty20 internationals with his visceral batting – his unbeaten 92 in the Canberra ODI also revealed his growing maturity – Hardik could have added value to the Test line-up.

Even if he is able to bowl only a handful of overs, someone such as Hardik could have been an X-factor with his batting alone. He is a dangerous No. 6 or 7, whom the bowlers are wary of after making their way through much of the top and the middle-order.

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Hardik could have waded into them with strokes of thunder much like he did when India was reeling at 92 for six in Cape Town during India’s last Test tour of…

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