Injured Pandya to miss game against New Zealand
In a major setback, India is most likely to miss the services of star all-rounder Hardik Pandya for the next ICC World Cup fixture against New Zealand on October 22.
What makes Pandya’s possible absence all the more worrisome from an Indian perspective is that Sunday’s game against the Kiwis will be played at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) ground in Dharamsala — a ground set in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, has experienced rainfall, and more importantly been dominated by the seam bowlers.
“He (Hardik Pandya) will not be taking the flight to Dharamsala with the team on October 20 and will now join the team directly in Lucknow where India play England,” the BCCI confirmed on Friday.
Pandya limped off the field after sustaining an ankle injury while bowling the ninth over of the game against Bangladesh at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Thursday. Hardik, having bowled the second delivery to opener Litton Das, tried to stop the ball with his right leg in his followthrough. As the ball rolled down to the fence, the all-rounder stuck out his right boot in a bid to intercept the ball that went past him straight down.
Hardik was later seen limping towards his run-up amid huge cheers from the crowd. Even though he had made up his mind to bowl, skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli seemed to intervene in the final moment, and the duo asked him to go off the field.
Kohli bowled the final three deliveries of the over, much to the joy of the Pune crowd.
Later, the BCCI issued a statement, saying that he was taken for a scan, and returned to join the team thereafter but he missed the entire game. The medical team assessed his scan report, and found that the all-rounder had twisted his ankle.
At the post-match presentation ceremony after the win over Bangladesh, Rohit had said that the injury was not a cause of concern.
“He (Pandya) pulled up a bit sore. There is no major damage, that is good for us. But obviously, with an injury like that, we have to assess every day and we will do whatever is required. (Game against NZ) Every game is a big game,” Rohit had said after the match.
According to a BCCI official, Pandya is expected to be flown to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru where he will be treated by a specialist doctor from England.
“The medical team has analysed Pandya’s scan report and found that he has twisted his ankle. Upon medical consultation with a specialist from England, the team arrived at the decision that he will recover by taking an injection, and could be flown to the NCA, Bengaluru for the same,” the official said.
The official further said that there was no talk about Pandya’s replacement in India’s World Cup squad, as he is expected to join the national team ahead of their fixture against England in Lucknow on October 29.