T20 World Cup: Hardik Pandya declared fit, available for New Zealand Game

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been reportedly declared fit and would be now available for selection for the Men in Blue’s next T20 World Cup affair against New Zealand on Sunday (October 31).

Pandya had picked up the injury on his right shoulder in the blockbluster clash against arch-rivals Pakistan on october 24 while batting following which the all-rounder was immediately rushed for precautionary scans and could not participate further in the game.

In his place, Ishan Kishan took the field for India against Pakistan.

It would now be interesting to see whether he will be included in the Playing XI as he has not been bowling in the recent times while his batting has also been not up to the mark.

Notably, several questions have been raised over Hardik, who has refrained from bowling since a long time and the all-rounder also didn’t bolwed a single over in the recently concluded season of Indian Premier League (IPL).

Later before the warm-up game against Australia, Rohit Sharma had said that Hardik might bowl against Pakistan.

“Hardik is coming along pretty well, but it’ll be a while before he will start to bowl. He hasn’t started bowling, but he should be ready by the start of the tournament,” Rohit had said at the toss for the warm-up match against Australia on October 20.

“We have quality in the main bowlers, but you need an option for a sixth bowler,” he had added.

However, Hardik didn’t bowled a single over against Pakistan as he had already left the field after being injured while batting.

He had himself confirmed before the start of the game that he won’t bowl.

“The back is fine, it was jittery, but I won’t be bowling for now. I want to be able to bowl eventually, closer to the knockouts. The professionals and I both have to take the call about when I can have a bowl,” Hardik had said ahead of the game against Pakistan.

With Hardik now bowling, India had missed the services of a sixth bowler as they suffered a humiliating 10-wicket defeat against Pakistan. Notably, it was also for the first time in World Cup history when India had tasted a defeat against Paksistan.

With the Virat Kohli-led Team India now aiming to beat New Zealand to keep their knockout hopes alive following the crushing defeat against Pakistan, it is most likley that the team management would opt for some change in the Playing XI on Sunday. As per reports, either Shardul Thakur or Ishan Kishan might get a chance in place of Hardik.

It is most likley that Shardul would be preferred over Ishan as he alowng with bowling, he can also be handy with the bat down the order.

After New Zealand, India will face Afghanistan on November 3 in Abu Dhabi. The Men in Blue will then face Scotland and Namibia on November 5 and 8 in Dubai.

The two semifinals of the showpiece event will be held on November 10 and November 11 with the final to be played on November 14 in Dubai.

News Desk

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