Hardik Pandya, who is on a quick comeback trail, is likely to make his return to international cricket during the T20Is against New Zealand in February but a confirmation regarding the same will only come once the allrounder’s fitness is monitored during the two warm-up matches India A will play against New Zealand.

Pandya, who is part of India A squads, will leave for New Zealand along with the rest of the squad on Saturday to play three warm-ups/unofficial ODIs against New Zealand A on January 21, 23 and 25 at Lincoln and Christchurch and India A’s support staff will keep a keen eye on Pandya’s fitness.

“The selectors were informed by BCCI that he is doing well. The plan is to check his fitness in the two warm-up games that India ‘A’ play and then he joins the Indian team for the five-match T20I series,” a top BCCI official told Times of India.

Pandya, like Jasprit Bumrah, had opted to skip the National Cricket Academy during his rehab. However, the it is learnt that unlike his India and Mumbai Indians teammate, Pandya had sought permission from the NCA to stay home and undergo rehab.

“Right after his surgery, he had communicated to BCCI that he would prefer to be home during his rehab as he would be in a happier place mentally and that would help him recover faster. He, however, kept BCCI in the loop about his progress and NCA physio Yogesh Parmar had overseen his treatment,” the official added.