Hardik Pandya

Hardik Likely To Miss Afghanistan T20I

Hardik Pandya

Star Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya is likely be missing the T20I series against Afghanistan, but will be fit before the Indian Premier League (IPL) from his ankle injury, a source told ANI.

Pandya was part of India’s ICC Cricket World Cup squad. He played four matches, picking five wickets with the best bowling figures of 2/34 and scoring 11* against Australia in his only innings before an ankle injury sustained during a league stage game against Bangladesh on October 19 ruled him out of the tournament.

Pandya has not played any international cricket since then, having missed the five-match T20I series against Australia and the three-match T20I and ODI series during the tour to South Africa as well. Suryakumar Yadav led India in all the T20I matches while KL Rahul led the team in ODIs in the absence of Pandya and regular skipper Rohit Sharma, who requested some time off from white-ball cricket after the World Cup final against Australia.

The three-match T20I series against Afghanistan will be India’s final international assignment, taking place from January 11-17, before the ICC T20 World Cup, which will take place in June at West Indies/USA.

In November this year, Pandya moved from Gujarat Titans (GT) to his former franchise Mumbai Indians (MI) after a trade between both franchises. The all-rounder spent two momentous years with GT, spearheading their campaign with aplomb. In GT’s debut season in 2022, Hardik ensured a fairytale start, with the team lifting the coveted trophy, while they finished runners-up in their second season after a last-ball defeat in a thrilling final earlier this year.

Pandya has big shoes to fill as the new skipper of MI, as Rohit has led the franchise to five IPL title wins. He was announced as the new skipper of MI days after his trade to the franchise which put him on the map.

In 31 matches for GT from 2022-23, Pandya scored 833 runs at an average of 37.86 and a strike rate of over 133, with six half-centuries and a best score of 87*. He also had 11 wickets for the team, with the best figures of 3/17.

Pandya also played 92 matches for MI from 2015-2021, scoring 1,476 runs at an average of 27.33 at a strike rate of over 153, with four half-centuries and best score of 91. He also took 42 wickets for the team, with the best bowling figures of 3/20. Pandya has won five IPL trophies, four with MI (2015, 2017, 2019, 2020) and GT (2022). (ANI)

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