Mumbai: Team India were dealt a big blow when Hardik Pandya was ruled out of the ODI World Cup after suffering an ankle injury in the hosts’ fourth match – against Bangladesh on October 19.
The irrepressible men in blue found a way to manage without one of their most important members of the team, storming into Sunday’s grand finale at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium, where Australia await them.
Not just the World Cup, Pandya is almost certain to miss the T20I series at home against Australia as well as three T20Is and three ODIs in South Africa.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the allrounder will be out of action for at least two months. He hurt his ankle badly while trying to stop a ball off his own bowling against Bangladesh at Pune.
It’s still not clear whether Pandya, who was rushed to the National Cricket Academy for rehabilitation, will require surgery.
In the absence of India’s T20I skipper Pandya, the selectors will have to name a captain for the T20I series against Australia.
Suryakumar Yadav looks to be the frontrunner to lead India.
Coming close on the heels of a gruelling World Cup campaign, during which the Indians crisscrossed the country to play 11 matches in nine cities, the selectors are expected to give some of the regular players a break.
The five-match series begins in Visakhapatnam on November 23 and concludes at Hyderabad on December 3.