ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 – Hardik Pandya ruled out of New Zealand game with ankle injury

“He will not be taking the flight to Dharamsala with the team on 20th October and will now join the team directly in Lucknow where India play England,” the BCCI said. “He is advised rest and will be under the constant supervision of the BCCI medical team.” India play England on October 29, seven days after the New Zealand match.

Pandya injured himself during his first over – the ninth of Bangladesh’s innings – when he appeared to twist his ankle while trying to stop a shot with his foot during his follow through. He was taken for scans and played no further part in the match, and will head to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for treatment.

“He pulled up a bit sore,” Rohit Sharma said after the game against Bangladesh. “There’s no major damage. That is good for us. But honestly, with an injury like that, you’ve got to assess every day. So we just hope that he pulls up well tomorrow morning. And then we will assess, whatever is required for us to do as a team, we’ll do that.”

Apart from Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav, Pandya is arguably the most irreplaceable player in the India squad because of the all-round role he performs. He is good enough to play as a specialist batter but his bowling provides India the sixth bowler they badly need. Pandya had bowled 16 overs in India’s first three World Cup matches and taken five wickets.

With no like-for-like replacement available, India will have to change their combination against New Zealand. One option is to bring in Suryakumar Yadav for Pandya and Mohammed Shami for Shardul Thakur. That, however, will leave Rohit with just five specialist bowlers.

India have won all their four matches in the World Cup so far and are second on the points table, behind table-toppers New Zealand who are ahead on net run rate.

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