Hardik Pandya’s return uncertain, T20I skipper likely to miss another month with expected return to be around for IND vs AFG series
India’s T20 skipper Hardik Pandya will be on the sidelines for at least another month with an ankle ligament tear. The allrounder suffered the injury during India’s ODI World Cup match against Bangladesh. He was subsequently ruled out of the World Cup. Now it has emerged that Hardik will out for at least another four weeks. This means he is likely to miss the South Africa series that starts in December. The allrounder is likely to return no sooner than the Afghanistan series.
“Yes, there remains a question what happens when Hardik comes back but in BCCI, they feel that if Rohit agrees to lead in T20Is, he will lead in the T20 World Cup. In case Rohit doesn’t agree then Surya continues as captain for T20Is in South Africa,” a BCCI source privy to the development told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
Hardik Pandya doubtful for SA series
Hardik Pandya has been in the news recently for his switch in Indian Premier League 2024. He will not have many matches after coming back to prepare for the T20 World Cup 2024. The all-rounder is likely to return in the Afghanistan series starting in January 2024. If he does, he will likely lead the side for the last time in T20s before the World Cup.
Pandya was an automatic pick in the World Cup starting XI in the lower middle order before the injury resulted in his premature exit from the tournament. The Mumbai boy missed the IND vs AUS T20I series due to the injury and looks set to sit out of the South Africa tour too.
The absence of Hardik Pandya leaves a question mark on the leadership position in T20s. The BCCI is set to pick the squad for the South Africa series on Thursday. It remains to be seen what the BCCI has in store, but it can safely be said that Hardik Pandya will not feature in the team list.
India will be hoping to have the allrounder as soon as possible but a lot will depend on how Hardik Pandya recovers from the injury.