Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. (Source: AP)
India face a bi challenge ahead of the much-anticipated Cricket World Cup 2023 match against New Zealand as injury to Hardik Pandya has put them in big trouble. With Pandya not available for the New Zealand match due to an injured ankle, it will be interesting to see how he gets replaced. In an ideal scenario, looling at the squad, either Suryakumar Yadav or Ishan Kishan walk in as his replacement as a batter. And to fill in Pandya as a bowler, Shardul should make way for Mohammed Shami.
Hardik, known for his explosive batting and handy medium-fast bowling, is grappling with an injured ankle. While Pandya’s availability remains uncertain, Suryakumar Yadav, who himself suffered a wrist injury during practice, is being closely monitored. If fit, Yadav could step in to bolster the batting lineup, adding depth and finesse. On the other hand, Ishan Kishan, known for his aggressive batting, is another viable option. His ability to provide quick runs makes him a suitable replacement for Pandya, albeit in a different role. But he was bitten by a honeybee in the nets and left the practice session midway through it.
Shardul’s situation is equally challenging. He has been an integral part of the team’s bowling setup, offering versatility with both the new and old ball. However, the team management might have to bench him to maintain the desired balance in the playing eleven. This decision may open the door for Mohammed Shami, a seasoned fast bowler with a knack for picking crucial wickets. Shami’s inclusion could strengthen the pace attack, providing a suitable replacement for Thakur while ensuring a more balanced bowling unit.
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The final playing eleven will heavily depend on the fitness updates of Suryakumar. If Suryakumar recovers in time, he could fill one of the vacant spots. But if both Yadav and Pandya remain sidelined, Ishan Kishan might be given the nod, promising a dash of youth and energy to the team’s middle order.
As the World Cup showdown approaches, the Indian team management faces a race against time to make the right calls and ensure that the team remains competitive and well-balanced, despite the unfortunate injuries. The cricketing world eagerly awaits the team’s decision, hoping to witness an enthralling clash against New Zealand.