Mumbai: Hardik Pandya’s recovery is going on a very positive note and though he is not available for Thursday’s match against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium here, India skipper Rohit Sharma hoped to see him in action very soon.
Pandya got injured while fielding off his own bowling during the match against Bangladesh in Pune a couple of weeks back and had walked off with one ball remaining in his over.
Initially, the injury was not considered very serious but later the BCCI informed that the Gujarat all-rounder had been asked to report to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for treatment and monitoring. Since then, he has missed matches against New Zealand and England and as per reports, is set to miss the next two matches too — against Sri Lanka and South Africa.
On Thursday, India captain Rohit Sharma confirmed that Pandya will not play Thursday’s match against Sri Lanka but did not commit anything about the remaining two matches in the league phase.
“Hardik is, I can’t call it rehabilitation, is progressing well and we have got good positive reports about that so far. He will not be playing tomorrow’s match, but beyond that, I can’t say anything now. His injury is such that it needs daily monitoring. As of now, the reports have been very positive and encouraging,” Rohit Sharma said in the pre-match press conference ahead of Thursday’s clash between India and Sri Lanka.
In light of the injury to Hardik and considering that India are leading the points table with 12 points from six wins from six matches, Rohit was asked whether they would consider resting some of the key bowlers and giving chances to those on the bench. The skipper replied in the negative and said the bowlers themselves don’t want to be rested. “I have spoken to the bowlers and all of them said ‘We are fit, we are bowling well and in good rhythm, we don’t need any rest’. So, we are not considering giving them the rest,” the India skipper said.
Asked about his aggressive approach and ‘selfless’ batting, Rohit was a bit awkward and said he was batting as the situation demanded. He said as the opening batsman starting with the scoreboard reading 0/0, he had to adapt his batting depending on what would be a good score for that ground and that situation.
“In the last match, we lost three wickets within the Powerplay, so I had to adapt my approach accordingly. It was good that we batted first and won the match,” he said adding that though the team has won all its six matches, there are areas in which the team needs to improve and that is what they are concentrating on.
Asked whether India wants to end the World Cup with an all-win record, which has been achieved by only two teams including West Indies so far, Rohit said they are not looking so far ahead in the event.
“We are not looking so far ahead (in this tournament). Our focus is on the next match and on areas we have to improve on. That is the discussion in the team and not about other things,” he added.
India have won six out of six matches so far in the tournament and is the only unbeaten team among the 10 in the fray in ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023.
They have three matches still to play, Sri Lanka on Thursday, South Africa on November 5 and the Netherlands on November 12.