Hardik Pandya injury: India’s worst nightmare could unfold amidst flourishing campaign

Hardik Pandya injury news was the hot topic from the clash between India and Bangladesh in Pune at World Cup 2023.

Hardik, arguably India's most valuable asset at this World Cup given the balance he brings to side, limped off the field. The incident occurred in Pune against Bangladesh, where Pandya seemed to have twisted his ankle during his bowling follow-through.

The immediate concern was palpable, both on and off the field. Pandya's significance in the Indian squad cannot be overstated.

While there are many players who thrive on a single skill in this Indian team, Pandya's prowess lies in his ability to shine in both departments. 

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His dual role as a batter and a bowler provides the Indian team with a flexibility that is hard to replicate. In the first three matches of the World Cup, he had already showcased his bowling skills by taking five wickets in just 16 overs. 

His ability to deliver impactful knocks as a batter further cements his position as a lynchpin in the team. His role as sixth bowler cannot be overstated in a line-up that lacks depth because of the tail-enders' lack of batting ability.

Hardik Pandya
Photo by Icon sport

Hardik Pandya injury update

The moment Pandya showed signs of discomfort, the physio rushed to his aid, trying to alleviate the pain and assess the situation. Despite the medical attention, Pandya's pain was evident, leading to an early exit from the field. 

Virat Kohli stepped in to complete Pandya's over with his wrong-footed, bowling action that had commentators drawing comparisons to South Africa legend Mike Procter. 

This incident underscores the importance of Pandya in the lineup and the lengths to which the team would go to fill his shoes, even momentarily.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) later confirmed that Pandya would undergo scans to determine the extent of his injury. The uncertainty surrounding his fitness adds another layer of concern for the Indian team. 

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Without a direct replacement for Pandya, the team might have to re-strategize. Options include promoting Shardul Thakur, primarily a fast bowler, to bat at No. 7 or introducing an additional batter, putting more pressure on the primary bowlers.

India's cautious approach with Pandya leading up to the World Cup was evident. They recognized the balance he brought to the team and wanted to ensure he was in optimal condition for the tournament. 

His potential absence could disrupt this balance, especially with crucial matches lined up. The upcoming game against New Zealand, another unbeaten team in the tournament, will be a litmus test for India, especially if they have to navigate it without Pandya.

Reflecting on the Hardik Pandya injury journey, it's worth noting that he had faced challenges post the 2019 World Cup with a back injury.

His cautious approach during the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year, where he bowled 25 overs in 16 games, indicated his commitment to preserving his fitness for the World Cup.

Hardik Pandya's injury during the Bangladesh clash is more than just a physical setback for the player; it's a potential strategic challenge for the Indian team. 

As the World Cup progresses, India's adaptability and resilience will be tested. Pandya's role as a versatile all-rounder makes him a cornerstone of the team, and his potential absence could redefine the dynamics of India's World Cup journey, that has gone pretty smooth thus far.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India