Hardik Pandya’s red-hot form in white-ball cricket has led to calls for his inclusion in India’s Test squad for the upcoming series against Australia. Pandya, on Sunday, through a blistering knock, powered India to a T20I series win over Australia in Sydney.

Chasing a challenging 195 and with the match evenly poised, Pandya blasted an unbeaten 42 off 22 with two sixes in the final over to take his team over the line. His finishing prompted Australia coach to compare the innings with the legendary MS Dhoni who guided India to several last-over wins.

Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif wants the team management to add Pandya to the Test squad for the series starting December 17.

“@hardikpandya7, with an average of nearly 90, has emerged as India’s go to batsman in white-ball cricket, behind @imVkohli. Time is ripe for Hardik to be added to the Test squad, in this red hot form worth holding him back in Australia,” Kaif posted on his Twitter account on Sunday.

The ongoing tour of Australia is Pandya’s first international outing since a long injury layoff that saw him undergo a back surgery in London last year. He was expected to make his India comeback during the tour of New Zealand earlier this year but failure to attain full fitness delayed it.

Later on, he played a vital role in Mumbai Indians’ title win at the IPL 2020 and was included in both the T20I and ODI squads for the Australia tour.

In the ODI series, which India lost 1-2, he was India’s top-scorer with 210 runs in three innings including a match-winning 92 not out in the third match.

When the 27-year-old was asked whether he feels this is the best batting phase of his career, Pandya replied, “It can be, it can not be as well. It’s just that it’s now getting highlighted because we’re always top-heavy. We’ve always seen India winning games when the top three score runs and I think this is for the first time we’ve got the opportunity where we have had to step it up and do it. And I think I am in a pretty good zone.”

He continued, “I am not getting too overwhelmed with the situation. I am trying to keep it neutral. It’s my job which I just did well. Now with time I don’t think I am getting too excited about things.”