Dubai: Indian cricket team suffered a major setback in their bid to win their third World Cup title after ace all-rounder Hardik Pandya was ruled out of the showpiece with an ankle injury.
Pandya suffered the injury while trying to stop a straight drive during the league match against Bangladesh on October 19 and left the field immediately with Virat Kohli completing the other three balls in that over. The 30-year-old has not taken part in any of the other matches subsequently, and was expected to return to the Indian team during the later stages of the tournament. However, now it has been decided that he will not be able to recover in time to play further part in the tournament.
The ICC Technical Committee has approved lanky fast bowler Prasidh Krishna, who has played in 17 One-day Internationals, as a replacement for Pandya.
India have maintained their winning run despite the absence of Pandya with Mohammed Shami, who came in due to the forced changes to the squad, has dazzled with the ball, taking 14 wickets in three matches. However, Pandya’s presence could have tilted the balance more in India’s favour as the sixth bowler and a batter who could provided the finishing touches to the Indian innings along with Ravindra Jadeja.
Suryakumar Yadav's form
In batting the loss of form of Suryakumar Yadav has been causing a headache to the Indian team management, who must have hoped for Pandya to return to the squad. It was not to be. Hence, Suryakumar, former world No 1 batter in Twenty20 format, should be grabbing his chance in the next few games before the knockout semifinals.
His first test will come on Sunday when India play South Africa in a crucial league game in Kolkata. The clash between the top two teams in the points table will give the winners the bragging rights as they head to the semifinals.