Worries are mounting that Hardik Pandya’s stay away from the Indian team might be longer than expected. He won’t be available for the forthcoming game against England on Sunday based on his lack of involvement in the Indian team’s optional practice session on Thursday. Still, there’s now genuine talk about the prospect that his recuperation would take longer than expected.
The Indian all-rounder is reportedly receiving rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru at this time. It’s unclear when exactly he will return. It is still unclear if he will be ready for the November 2 game against Sri Lanka in Mumbai or the November 5 game against South Africa in Kolkata. As of right now, it is confirmed that he won’t be available for the game in Lucknow.
The initial expectation of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was that Pandya, who suffered an ankle injury in Pune on October 19 while playing against Bangladesh, would be well enough to play the match in Lucknow. The BCCI has sent the following statement to the media: “During India’s match against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, team captain Hardik Pandya suffered an injury to his left ankle while fielding on his bowling.
“The all-round player was sent for scans, and relaxation is recommended. He will have the BCCI Medical Team’s continual observation. He will now join the team immediately in Lucknow when India plays England, rather than traveling by plane to Dharamsala on October 20.” Well-informed sources are still adamant that the damage is small.
It is still unclear whether India would choose to use three pacers, as they did in Dharamsala, or add a third spinner, like R Ashwin. The final call will be made closer to the game. The pitch in Lucknow is not overly dry, which usually favors spinners over pacers.