India's Hardik Pandya prepares to bowl during their twenty/20 cricket international at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. Image Credit: AP

New Delhi: All-rounder Hardik Pandya will miss India’s limited-overs home series against Australia, their last before this year’s World Cup, with lower back stiffness, the Indian cricket board (BCCI) said on Thursday.

A key cog in India’s scheme of things at this year’s World Cup, Pandya returned from a brief suspension — for his inappropriate remarks on a television show — to help secure the team’s 4-1 ODI series victory in New Zealand earlier this month.

“The BCCI medical team decided to rest the all-rounder and let him undergo strength and conditioning work for his lower back at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru,” BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary said in a statement.

“Pandya will begin his strength work from next week.”

India’s Twenty20 squad now contains 14 members, while spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will replace Pandya for the five one-dayers against the reigning World Cup champions.

With wrist-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav having established themselves as India’s front-line spinners, Pandya’s injury affords Jadeja a chance to impress before India finalise the final 15 for the World Cup in England and Wales.