Hardik Pandya is set to be ruled out of India’s next two World Cup league games against England and Sri Lanka. Only the remaining two league games against South Africa and the Netherlands will see him return. Pandya, currently at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, was supposed to join the Indian team before the next match against England on October 28 in Lucknow, but that plan has now been altered. The all-rounder is expected to join the squad either in Mumbai or in Kolkata before the November 5 encounter against South Africa.
Pandya staggered off the pitch against Bangladesh in Pune after flipping in his follow-through. He had only bowled three balls throughout the contest and was unable to continue. He was transported for scans, which found nothing serious, but the impact of the fall had caused his ankle to swell.
Hardik is still under medication. While the swelling on his left ankle has subsided considerably, he will start bowling only towards the weekend. Right now, important is to give him time to recover, an NCA source said. Pandya has suffered a bad sprain but fortunately not a fracture. The BCCI medical team wants to take maximum precautions. The team wants him fully fit for the knock-out stage, a BCCI source added.
Hardik is pivotal to India’s plans for the World Cup. Pandya enables India to field six bowling options without sacrificing batting depth. Pandya’s presence also allows India captain Rohit Sharma to rotate the spinners instead of bowling them from both ends.