Hardik Pandya’s World Cup Return Uncertain as Ankle Injury Persists
Star Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s eagerly anticipated return to the World Cup remains shrouded in uncertainty as he continues to recover from an ankle injury sustained during the game against Bangladesh on October 19. The dynamic cricketer is unlikely to grace the field before India’s crucial World Cup clash with the Netherlands on November 12.
Pandya’s injury forced him to miss subsequent matches against New Zealand and England, and he is also expected to be sidelined for the upcoming fixtures against Sri Lanka on Thursday and South Africa on November 5. The injury, described as a minor tear, has prompted speculation about Pandya’s return for the last league game or even the semifinals, as per a source within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
India, with an impressive record of six consecutive victories, is on the verge of securing a spot in the semifinals. Pandya’s absence has led the team management to make two significant changes to the playing eleven. To compensate for his all-round abilities, India has been fielding five bowlers, with Suryakumar Yadav taking Pandya’s place at number six in the batting lineup.
While Pandya’s prowess as a bowler has been admirably covered by the in-form Mohammad Shami, his presence remains crucial for the team’s overall balance and performance.
After India’s triumph over England, the team’s bowling coach, Paras Mhambrey, expressed optimism about Pandya’s imminent return. Pandya has been recuperating at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, with the medical team closely monitoring his progress.
“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,” Mhambrey had stated following the match against England.
Initially, a BCCI media release indicated that Pandya was scheduled to re-join the team in Lucknow before the England encounter. However, Pandya’s absence has left fans and cricket enthusiasts eagerly awaiting his return, hoping that he can make a significant impact in the latter stages of the tournament.