• Saturday, July 20, 2024

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No Hardik Pandya in India’s next two World Cup 2023 clashes against Sri Lanka, SA: report

The ace all-rounder walked off the ground in the match against Bangladesh when he injured his ankle while trying to field off his own bowling. He has not played any match since then.

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIA have not felt his absence, but Hardik Pandya remains a utility cricketer that any captain will miss on the ground. The 30-year-old ace all-rounder went off the ground with a ligament injury after trying to field off his own bowling in the match against Bangladesh in Pune in the ongoing 50-over World Cup on October 19. He missed the next two matches against New Zealand and England as well and now, reports suggest that Pandya is unlikely to play in India’s next two matches against Sri Lanka (Mumbai, November 2) and South Africa (Kolkata, November 5).

India have not lost a single match in the World Cup and are sitting at the top of the points table with 12 points from six matches. A win against the Lankans on Thursday will see him qualifying for the semi-finals as the first team.

The hosts brought in fast bowler Mohammed Shami and hard-hitting batter Suryakumar Yadav in their playing XI in the absence of Pandya and the combination clicked in both the matches against New Zealand and England. However, their tail remains a bit longer as a result and a top-order batting collapse could expose it, as it was against the Three Lions before the bowlers decimated them.

Shami has taken nine wickets in the two matches he played while Yadav scored a crucial 49 in the match against England.

According to a report by the Press Trust of India, it has been learned that Pandya suffered a minor tear although he is likely to be available for selection soon.

As per the report, Pandya could return to the playing XI for India’s final round-robin fixture against the Netherlands in Bengaluru on November 12 before the semi-finals. Or he may also appear straight in the semi-finals next.

India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said the medical team was having a close look at Pandya’s injury who is recovering at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

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