India’s all-rounder, Hardik Pandya, is expected to miss several matches due to an ankle injury, with his likely return anticipated for the World Cup game against the Netherlands on November 12. The injury occurred while Pandya was fielding on his own bowling during a match against Bangladesh on October 19. As a result, he was unable to participate in games against New Zealand and England and will also be absent for matches against Sri Lanka on Thursday and South Africa on November 5.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has classified Pandya’s injury as a minor tear and is optimistic about his recovery. A BCCI source stated, “He is recovering well and is likely to return for the last league game. There is also a possibility that he straight away plays the semifinal.” This news comes as India secures six consecutive wins, positioning them for a spot in the semifinals.
To compensate for Pandya’s absence, the team has made adjustments to the playing eleven, with Suryakumar Yadav batting in his place and the management opting for five bowlers. Although Mohammad Shami’s exceptional form has helped fill the void left by Pandya as a bowler, his all-round abilities remain crucial to the team’s balance.
Bowling coach Paras Mhambrey expressed confidence in Pandya’s imminent return after India’s victory over England. Pandya has been recovering at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. However, he was not able to join the team in Lucknow ahead of the England game, as previously planned according to a BCCI media release.
It is evident that Pandya’s absence has had an impact on the team’s strategy and composition. Nonetheless, with his potential return for the last league game and the semifinals, India remains hopeful of his contribution to their World Cup campaign.