ODI World Cup 2023: Former India opener suggests replacement for injured Hardik Pandya in New Zealand clash
Team India faces a squad balance challenge, former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra suggests a replacement for the injured Hardik Pandya ahead of the pivotal India vs New Zealand match.
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra expresses concerns about the team's balance following Hardik Pandya's injury and the upcoming Cricket World Cup 2023 match against New Zealand. Hardik Pandya sustained an ankle injury during the match against Bangladesh, ruling him out for the next game in Dharamsala. Chopra proposes Suryakumar Yadav as Pandya's replacement, leading to the inclusion of pacer Mohammed Shami for Shardul Thakur to bolster the bowling department.
Hardik underwent scans after the injury in Pune and is undergoing recovery at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. The BCCI confirmed that he won't be traveling with the team to Dharamsala but will join them directly in Lucknow for the England match.
KL Rahul is expected to serve as Rohit Sharma's deputy for the New Zealand game. India has a considerable gap between the Dharamsala and Lucknow matches, with the latter scheduled for October 29.
In Hardik's absence, the team faces the challenge of maintaining its critical balance and must decide on the best combination. Typically, with Hardik in the squad, India enjoys the flexibility of six bowling options, and his finishing abilities at number six are invaluable. To retain their batting strength, the team is likely to consider either Suryakumar Yadav or Ishan Kishan in the playing XI.
Aakash Chopra's suggested Indian cricket team playing XI for the Cricket World Cup 2023 match against New Zealand includes Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj.