Hardik Pandya to Not Travel to Dharamsala Due to Ankle Injury

New Delhi: Hardik Pandya,the fast-bowling all-rounder andIndia’s vice-captain, will not betraveling with the team to
Dharamshala ahead of Sunday’sclash against New Zealand dueto a left ankle injury, said theBoard of Control for Cricket inIndia (BCCI) on Friday.On Thursday, Pandya limpedoff the field after injuring his leftankle while fielding on his ownbowling during India’s fourthleague match of the 2023 Men’sODI World Cup, againstBangladesh at MCA Stadium inPune, and did not participate inthe rest of the match.As a result, he will now missIndia’s clash against New Zealandat HPCA Stadium inDharamshala on Sunday. “Theall-rounder was taken for scansand is advised rest. He will beunder the constant supervisionof the BCCI Medical Team,” saidthe BCCI in a medical update.It added that Pandya will jointhe India team directly inLucknow for the match againstdefending champions England on
October 29. At Pune, while tryingto stop a boundary hit by LittonDas on third ball of the ninth over,Pandya seemed to twist his leftankle in his follow-through afterslipping in the process of savingthe four.The Indian team physio ran outimmediately to attend Hardik onhis left ankle for several minutes,with Virat Kohli and captainRohit Sharma by his side. Aftersome time, the all-rounder triedto continue bowling, but couldn’tdo so due to too much pain in his
strapped left ankle and walkedoff for getting further treatment.In his absence, Virat Kohlibowled the three remainingdeliveries in the over, with theBCCI later saying that timePandya was taken for scans.Pandya has been a vital cog inthe wheel for India in white-ballcricket and is irreplaceable dueto his all-round skills – batting intop six and being the third fastbowlingoption in the team.Though he batted only once,making an unbeaten 11 in India’s
opening tournament win overAustralia in Chennai, Pandya hadpicked five wickets till the ankleinjury came in. With him nowmissing the match against NewZealand, India need to see howthey cover up for the skills hebrings to the table.They have a fast-bowling allroundoption in Shardul Thakur,but he is not close to being calleda like-for-like replacement forPandya. An option can be thatThakur plays the role of Pandyawith both bat and ball or bring
in a specialist batter in hisabsence while operate with onlyfive bowlers in their bowlinginnings. Another option thatIndia could look at is to bring ina specialist batter and bowlerrespectively while leaving outThakur.
With four wins in as manymatches, hosts India are one oftwo teams to be still unbeatenin the ongoing Men’s ODI WorldCup. The two-time championswill next face New Zealand, whoare the only other unbeaten sidein the competition.

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