India all-rounder Hardik Pandya suffered an injury during the country’s World Cup match against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Thursday. In the ninth over of the game, Hardik tried to stop the ball with his right leg in his follow-through after bowling the second delivery to opening batter Litton Das.
However, he seemed to have strained a muscle in his left leg, and the physio had to be summoned. Hardik was seen taping his left leg and later limped towards his run-up amid huge cheers from the crowd. Even though he had made up his mind to bowl, skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli seemed to intervene in the final moment, and the duo asked him to go off the field.
Kohli bowled the final three deliveries of the over, much to the joy of the Pune crowd. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has yet to comment on the severity of the injury. This is a worrying development for Hardik, whose career has often been hampered by lower back problems. The problem surfaced during the 2018 Test series in England and resurfaced again during the Asia Cup later that year.
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Hardik was forced to miss the subsequent home Test series against the West Indies and the T20 series in Australia. He was then rested for the WI tour after the World Cup in England in 2019.
Hardik is a key player for India, and his absence would be a major blow to the team’s chances in the World Cup. He is a versatile all-rounder who can contribute with both bat and ball. India will be hoping that Hardik’s injury is not serious and that he will be able to return to the field soon. The team has a tough match against New Zealand coming up on Sunday, and they will need their best players available for that game.