Match-winning star Hardik Pandya is set to depart Australia after Tuesday’s Twenty20 series finale, barring a last-minute rethink from India.
India required 14 runs from the final over, delivered by debutant Daniel Sams at the SCG, to win their second T20 against Australia.
The allrounder bludgeoned the second and fourth balls for six, grabbing a T20 series win for the tourists in brutal fashion.
Pandya’s unbeaten 42 from 22 balls on Sunday night means he has tallied 268 runs from the five white-ball games, more than another member of India’s squad.
But the 27-year-old, whose most recent Test came in 2018, isn’t part of India’s plans for the four-Test series that begins on December 17.
“It’s a different ball game,” Pandya told reporters.
“I don’t mind.
“At the end of the day the call is on the management and everyone, so I don’t think I can say much about it.”
Pandya was expected to play as a specialist batsman throughout the white-ball leg of India’s tour as he recovers from a back injury.
He delivered four overs in the second ODI but hasn’t bowled since.
India skipper Virat Kohli, who was thrilled to bank a T20 series victory without rested spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and injured batsman Rohit Sharma playing, showered Pandya with praise.
“Hardik came into the team in 2016 because of pure ability … raw talent,” Kohli said.
“And now he realises that this is his time, the next four to five years, to be that bankable player that can win you games from anywhere.”
Australia coach Justin Langer described Pandya’s knock as a “great innings”.
India, like Australia, have had to juggle overlapping priorities because a three-day tour game is running concurrently to T20s on Sunday and Tuesday night.
There had been speculation that Bumrah would take part in the red-ball clash with Australia A that started on Sunday.
Bumrah failed to take the field at Drummoyne Oval, has been rested from both T20 games and is an unlikely starter in Tuesday’s dead rubber.
Mayank Agarwal, who is expected to open in the first Test for India, was also notably absent from both the XI at Drummoyne despite the fact he failed to feature in either T20.