NEW DELHI: In a significant setback for the Indian cricket team, all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been declared unfit to participate in the remainder of the World Cup 2023. The International Cricket Council (ICC) issued this update early on Saturday, and announced that fast bowler Prasidh Krishna would replace him in the squad.
“India’s unbeaten start to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup has received a massive hit with news that star all-rounder Hardik Pandya has failed to recover from his ankle injury and will miss the remainder of the tournament,” the ICC said in a statement.
FLASH: Sad News for Team India in the#ICCCricketWorldCup 2023.
— The New Indian (@TheNewIndian_in) November 4, 2023
Pandya’s unfortunate injury occurred as he slipped while bowling during India’s match against Bangladesh in Pune. Subsequently, he was sent to the National Cricket Academy for recovery. This injury forced him to miss India’s subsequent matches against New Zealand, England, and Sri Lanka, prompting the team to make crucial adjustments to their lineup.
To bolster their bowling options, India brought in Mohammed Shami, who seized the opportunity with remarkable performances, amassing 14 wickets from three matches. Shami’s form has made him an indispensable part of the side.
In light of Hardik Pandya’s withdrawal from the competition, former cricketer Aakash Chopra expressed his views on microblogging site X, highlighting the significance of Pandya’s absence, especially regarding the team’s bowling options.
“Hardik Pandya ruled out of the World Cup. Big blow to the possibilities of having a sixth bowling option. India’s picked pacer Prasidh Krishna to replace him. Says a lot about how many players of Hardik’s skill-set are available in India. Answer is 0,” Chopra tweeted.
Hardik Pandya ruled out of the World Cup. Big blow to the possibilities of having a sixth bowling option.
India’s picked pacer Prasidh Krishna to replace him. Says a lot about how many players of Hardik’s skill-set are available in India. Answer is 0️⃣ #CWC23
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) November 4, 2023
Earlier this week, India secured a spot in the Cricket World Cup semifinals with an impressive victory over Sri Lanka, defeating them by a commanding margin of 302 runs. India’s dominant performance saw them amass a formidable total of 357/8 before subsequently bowling Sri Lanka out for a meagre 55 runs.
Following Hardik Pandya’s departure from the squad, India’s current playing lineup consists of the following members: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Prasidh Krishna, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav.
With the Indian team having already secured a spot in the tournament’s semi-finals, they now have the opportunity to explore their bench players in the final two group-stage matches. The absence of Hardik Pandya has paved the way for players like Mohammed Shami to showcase their skills and make significant contributions to the team’s success.