Hardik Pandya is set to miss India’s next World Cup clash against New Zealand in Dharamsala but it likely to be fit for the game against England on October 29.
PANAJI: Hardik Pandya will miss India’s next World Cup 2023 clash against New Zealand in Dharamsala on Sunday. “Hardik Pandya sustained an injury to his left ankle while fielding on his own bowling during India’s match against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune. The all-rounder was taken for scans and is advised rest. He will be under the constant supervision of the BCCI Medical Team. He will not be taking the flight to Dharamsala with the team on 20th October and will now join the team directly in Lucknow where India play England,” the BCCI said in a release.
The all-rounder, who injured his left ankle trying to stop a ball with his feet while bowling, will be rushed to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, where he will be treated by specialist doctors from England, stated a report from The Indian Express. It further mentioned that Pandya will receive some injections and given the 7-day break following Sunday’s fixture.
Hardik looked in excruciating pain while twisting his left ankle in an attempt to stop a straight drive from Litton Das during India’s game against Bangladesh on Thursday. Hardik immediately fell on the ground and favoured the ankle. It required assistance from Virat Kohli to help Hardik get back on his feet but following a few steps, his ankle gave up. The BCCI physio rushed to the ground and attended to Hardik for several minutes, It took a bit of magic spray and some extensive taping to get him back up but as soon as Hardik practiced his run-up, the discomfort and the grimace on his face returned. After a brief discussion with both Kohli and captain Rohit Sharma, Hardik hobbled off the field and did not return.
The BCCI dropped a concerning tweet when it informed that Hardik was being taken for scans. Later, during the Indian innings, when Kohli and Shreyas Iyer were batting, some serious visuals from the dressing room involving Hardik, Rohit and coach Rahul Dravid depicted that the injury might be graver than expected. But thankfully, when captain Rohit addressed the injury and called it nothing really major, the entire country breathed a sigh of relief.
Having said that, Hardik was always poised to miss the Dharamsala fixture. Even something as common as an ankle sprain can take up to a week to heal completely, and given what Hardik brings to the table with both bat and ball, it’s a risk Team India is unwilling to take. With 4 wins in 4 matches, India’s World Cup campaign has been nothing less than a dream thus far and with five league matches still to go, better be safe than sorry seems to be the mantra the team management is following.
Without Hardik, the entire balance of the team seems to go for a toss.
In his absence, India will have two options to consider – either play an extra bowler/batter, or include both. The toss-up between Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan is likely to drop in SKY’s favour as he proved his ODI batting prowess against Australia last month by peeling off back-to-back fifties from No. 6.
With Ravindra Jadeja to follow at 7, India will have to pick between retaining Shardul Thakur or giving Mohammed Shami a game. Shardul, known for his knack of breaking partnerships, hasn’t discovered his penchant yet this World Cup, with figures of 1/31, 0/12 and 1/59, and considering the seaming conditions in the high altitude of Dharamsala, Shami should be an automatic shoe-in.