Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has labeled the exclusion of Hardik Pandya from the ICC World Cup 2023 as a significant setback for the Indian cricket team. Hardik Pandya, a key all-rounder for India, will play no further part in the tournament. The ICC made the announcement early this Saturday, November 4, and confirmed the inclusion of pacer Prasidh Krishna as his replacement. This development comes as a major blow to India’s World Cup campaign.
Following a slip during his bowling stint against Bangladesh in Pune, the Indian all-rounder was subsequently sent to the National Cricket Academy for rehabilitation. Hardik Pandya’s absence was conspicuous in India’s clashes against New Zealand and England in Sri Lanka, resulting in the team implementing two changes. In response to Pandya’s unfortunate tournament departure, Chopra turned to Twitter to convey his sentiments, stating,
“Hardik Pandya ruled out of the World Cup. Big blow to the possibilities of having a sixth bowling option. India’s picked pacer Prasidh Krishna to replace him. Says a lot about how many players of Hardik’s skill-set are available in India. Answer is 0,” Chopra wrote on ‘X’.
Here’s Aakash Chopra’s latest post on ‘X’:
Hardik Pandya ruled out of the World Cup. Big blow to the possibilities of having a sixth bowling option.
India’s picked pacer Prasidh Krishna to replace him. Says a lot about how many players of Hardik’s skill-set are available in India. Answer is 0️⃣ #CWC23
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) November 4, 2023
Mohammed Shami grabbed the opportunity with both hands
In response to Hardik Pandya‘s unavailability, India made strategic alterations to their squad. Mohammed Shami was drafted in to bolster the bowling department, and the dynamic Suryakumar Yadav earned a place in the playing XI. Shardul Thakur, India’s other fast-bowling all-rounder was left on the bench to enhance the team’s overall equilibrium and composition.
Pandya’s injury presented Mohammed Shami with a golden chance, and the pacer has seized it admirably. Shami’s remarkable haul of 14 wickets in just three matches has made him an indispensable asset to the team. With India already securing a spot in the tournament’s semi-finals, the team now has the luxury of experimenting with their reserve players in the remaining two group-stage fixtures.