Hardik Pandya’s World Cup Journey Ends: Prasidh Krishna Named as Replacement

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In a significant development, India’s star all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 due to an ankle injury that he sustained during a game against Bangladesh in Pune on October 19. The injury proved to be more persistent than initially anticipated, leading to Pandya’s withdrawal from the tournament. The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that pacer Prasidh Krishna, who has already featured in 17 ODIs, will step in as Pandya’s replacement.

Hardik Pandya expressed his disappointment at missing the remainder of the World Cup, saying, “Tough to digest the fact that I will miss out on the remaining part of the World Cup. I’ll be with the team, in spirit, cheering them on every ball of every game. Thanks for all the wishes, the love, and the support has been incredible. This team is special, and I’m sure we’ll make everyone proud.” His absence from the field will certainly be felt, as he contributed significantly with both bat and ball for the Indian team.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had previously mentioned that Pandya’s injury did not involve any fractures, but rather a minor tear. The all-rounder had resumed training in Bengaluru; however, swelling in his left ankle reappeared, preventing him from being fit to bowl and hampering his skills training.

The BCCI had listed three standby players for the tournament: left-handed batter Tilak Varma, wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson, and pacer Prasidh Krishna. Ultimately, Prasidh was selected to fill the void left by Pandya. The rationale behind this decision was that the team would miss Pandya’s bowling skills more than his batting, and Prasidh Krishna, being a pacer, was deemed the most suitable choice.

The Indian team already had Shardul Thakur and Ravichandran Ashwin as backup options, and the team management felt that they could fulfill the role of an all-rounder effectively. In terms of batting, the team’s reserve batsman, Ishan Kishan, was already in place, making the selection of Sanju Samson or Tilak Varma for the role unnecessary.

As for the current team composition, it appears that the lineup is set, with Prasidh Krishna likely to stay on the bench unless any unexpected injuries occur. India’s pace attack is solid, featuring Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Jasprit Bumrah, leaving little room for changes in the bowling department.

The situation may change if some pacers are rested in the game against the Netherlands, creating an opportunity for Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, or Prasidh Krishna to step in before the crucial semifinals.

This turn of events is also an opportunity for Suryakumar Yadav, who is expected to play at No. 6 in the batting order for all of India’s remaining games unless any unforeseen injuries arise.

The replacement of a player in the squad requires approval from the Event Technical Committee, which is part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. The committee comprises individuals such as Wasim Khan (ICC General Manager – Cricket and ETC Chair), Chris Tetley (ICC Head of Events), Hemang Amin (Acting CEO – BCCI), Gaurav Saxena (General Manager – Operations, BCCI), as well as independent representatives Russel Arnold and Simon Doull.

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