Hardik Pandya set to miss Australia and South Africa tours due to injury

Hardik Pandya is expected to miss the upcoming series against Australia and South Africa due to an ankle injury suffered in the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023 match against Bangladesh.

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Hardik Pandya (Source: Twitter)

India’s start all-rounder and arguably the world’s best fast-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya who has been already ruled out of the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023 is expected to miss the series against Australia and South Africa after the World Cup.

Hardik Pandya who was a key member of the Indian team in the ODI World 2023 and played the initial matches of the World Cup was ruled out during the fourth league match against Bangladesh after tripping his ankle while stopping a straight shot on his bowling by Litton Das.

It was a major setback to the Indian team as he was a vital cog in the Indian playing XI and provided the perfect balance to the team by giving Rohit Sharma a genuine sixth bowling option. But Hardik Pandya’s exclusion prompted Rohit to give Shami a go in the World Cup and he did not look back after that and took 23 wickets in just 6 matches.

Hardik Pandya’s importance can be measured by the fact that his exclusion prompted India to make two inclusions i.e. Suryakumar Yadav in place of Hardik Pandya and Mohammad Shami in place of Shardul Thakur. India is set to play 5 home T20Is against Australia just after the World Cup starting from 23rd November in Vishakhapatnam and 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs against South Africa at their home starting next month. 

Who will lead India in absence of Hardik Pandya?

Hardik Pandya’s loss will pose further questions for the Indian selectors and management regarding the leadership of the Indian team in these upcoming tours. According to reports major players who are part of the current World Cup squad will be rested for the Australia home series. In that case, either Ruturaj Gaikwad or Suryakumar Yadav will lead the Indian team against Australia.

However, it will be interesting to see what will be the team’s composition for the South Africa tour. The majority of the big names will return for the Test series in South Africa and will most probably be available for the limited-overs series. 

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have not been a part of the T20I setup since the last semi-final loss against England in the 2022 T20 World Cup and given their sublime form and attacking approach in the ongoing World Cup, will they be part of the T20I squad for the South Africa series will be something to look up to.

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