Hardik Pandya out of Test series against New Zealand

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Flamboyant Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand over fitness concerns, the Board of Control for cricket in India said Saturday.

The 26-year-old underwent successful surgery for a lower-back injury in October but has remained off the field since then.

"Team India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand," the board said in a statement.

Following a review by a specialist in London, Pandya was advised to remain under rehabilitation at the National cricket Academy until he regains full match fitness, it said.

He has not played Test cricket since the Southampton match against England in September 2018 and made his last appearance in the T20 format against South Africa in September 2019.

India are currently touring New Zealand to play two Tests, three one day internationals and five Twenty20 international matches.

The visitors are leading 4-0 in the T20 series.

The first Test begins in Wellington on February 21.

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