ODI World Cup 2023: Injured Hardik Pandya set to miss group games against Sri Lanka and South Africa
Hardik Pandya faces an extended absence from the Cricket World Cup due to an ankle injury sustained during a match against Bangladesh.
Hardik Pandya, the Indian allrounder, is poised to sit out of two additional matches in the World Cup against Sri Lanka and South Africa. This comes as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury sustained during the match against Bangladesh. Pandya has been absent from play since October 19, and it is understood that India is opting for a cautious approach, planning to reintroduce him for the final league stage match against the Netherlands on November 12.
The injury occurred when Pandya was bowling against Bangladesh in Pune and appeared to twist his ankle while attempting to block a shot with his right foot during his follow-through. This forced him to exit the match prematurely and undergo scans. Consequently, he missed India's subsequent game against New Zealand in Dharamsala due to a ligament injury. Although Pandya was initially expected to join the team in Lucknow for the October 29 fixture against England, he was compelled to sit that one out.
Pandya is presently undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, prioritizing a gradual recovery process. To compensate for his all-round capabilities, India fielded Suryakumar Yadav and replaced Shardul Thakur with Mohammed Shami against New Zealand. Shami, in his first World Cup appearance, secured a five-wicket haul, contributing to India's successful containment of New Zealand to a total below 300 runs.
India, the current table leaders and the only undefeated team in the tournament, have secured six wins from as many matches. Their upcoming matches include Sri Lanka in Mumbai on November 2, followed by a clash against South Africa in Kolkata. The league stage will culminate with a fixture against the Netherlands in Bengaluru. The medical team and the National Cricket Academy remain in close communication with Pandya, with expectations of updates on his fitness in the near future.