Hardik Pandya’s injury has proven to be more serious than initially assumed, with the all-rounder now unlikely to feature in Team India’s sixth match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 against England in Lucknow on Sunday. Pandya twisted his ankle while bowling against Bangladesh in the fourth match of the tournament in Pune, and was initially expected to miss the match against New Zealand in Dharamsala.
However, he has now been ruled out of the England match as well, and his comeback could be pushed back further. A BCCI official told News18 that Pandya’s absence is a “precaution” and that the injury is “not serious”. However, the fact that Pandya is under observation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) suggests that the injury is more serious than is being let on.
Hardik Pandya’s unavailability throws up a number of selection dilemmas for Team India. If he cannot play even as a batter, then Suryakumar Yadav is likely to hold on to his place in the Playing 11. With the pitch at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow more conducive to spinners, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin could also be back in contention for a return to the side.
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Ashwin was replaced by pace-bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur after the first match of the tournament against Australia but could be brought back in to replace Mohammed Siraj, who has been struggling to pick up wickets. Siraj has picked up just 6 wickets in 5 matches at an average of 42.83.
Hardik Pandya is set to be available from the South Africa game in the World Cup. [The Indian Express]
– He is likely to miss the England & Sri Lanka match. pic.twitter.com/hEo3iL1lD8
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 25, 2023
With Pandya’s absence, Team India will need to find a way to balance their bowling attack. They could either play an extra spinner, or they could go with an all-seam attack. The decision will likely depend on the pitch conditions in Lucknow.
Team India will also need to find a way to replace Pandya’s batting firepower. He is one of the most dangerous hitters in the world, and his absence will be a blow to the team’s batting lineup.
Overall, Pandya’s injury is a major setback for Team India. He is one of the most important players in the team, and his absence will be felt keenly. The team management will need to be at their best to overcome this challenge and keep their World Cup campaign on track.