- India are set to face the 1996 World Cup champions, Sri Lanka, in their upcoming ICC World Cup match scheduled for Thursday.
- Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya is set to miss match vs Sri Lanka at the ICC World Cup 2023
In a twist of fate, Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s ankle injury is proving to be a stumbling block in India’s flawless journey in the ICC World Cup 2023. Vice-captain Hardik Pandya, facing setbacks since October 19 against Bangladesh, is poised to miss a crucial encounter against 1996 World Cup champions Sri Lanka, as Rohit Sharma and team gears up for their upcoming ICC World Cup match on Thursday.
With six wins in as many games, India is on the brink of becoming the first team to secure a spot in the semi-finals. However, Pandya’s absence has forced the team management to rethink their strategy, and the latest reports suggest he may return for the final round-robin clash against the Netherlands.
Despite a minor tear in his ankle, Pandya’s recovery is progressing well, raising hopes of his inclusion in the later stages of the tournament. A Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) source revealed,
“It is a minor tear. 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.”
In Pandya’s absence, the Indian team reshuffled its playing XI, bringing in pacer Mohammed Shami and premier batter Suryakumar Yadav. Suryakumar’s impactful knock against England, coupled with Shami’s four-wicket haul, secured a convincing 100-run win for India.
Bowling coach Paras Mhambrey acknowledged the importance of Pandya’s return, stating, “The medical team is looking at that and are very much in touch with Hardik and the NCA (National Cricket Academy) as well. We’re hoping to get an update in a couple of days.”
While India’s current form has been exceptional, the question remains: who will make way for Pandya in the playing XI? Suryakumar Yadav’s stellar performance and Shami’s impactful contributions have added depth to the team, making the decision a challenging one for the team management.
India’s upcoming clashes against Sri Lanka will test their adaptability without Pandya’s dynamic all-round abilities. Rohit Sharma, the team’s captain, is unlikely to rush Pandya back prematurely, considering the team’s strong position in the tournament.