Indian coach Rahul Dravid acknowledged the lack of balance in his side caused by the injury to ace all-rounder Hardik Pandya ahead of India’s top-of-the-table ODI World Cup clash against New Zealand on Sunday.
Hardik injured his ankle while fielding in India’s previous match against Bangladesh in Pune
“Hardik is an important player for us. He is obviously missing this game and we will try to work around the 14 and see what’s the best combination. But we will obviously miss the balance we have had in the first four games,” said Dravid ahead of the New Zealand game.
In the ninth over of the game against Bangladesh, Hardik, having bowled the second delivery to opening batter Litton Das, tried to stop the ball with his right leg in his follow-through.
As the ball rolled down to the fence, the cameras panned to the Indian all-rounder, who was seen having some difficulty while trying to get back on his feet.
Hardik was later seen limping towards his run-up amid huge cheers from the crowd. Even though he had made up his mind to bowl, skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli seemed to intervene in the final moment, and the duo asked him to go off the field.
The Indian team later confirmed Hardik will miss the New Zealand match and will join the team directly in Lucknow, where India plays England on October 29.
“The all-rounder was taken for scans after his fall and has been advised rest. He will be under the constant supervision of the BCCI Medical Team,” the team added.