T20 World Cup: Hardik Pandya declared fit for NZ match
In a major development, Hardik Pandya has been declared fit for India's impending match in the T20 World Cup against New Zealand. The Indian all-rounder had hurt his shoulder in the opening encounter against Pakistan. As per reports, Pandya, who underwent scans after the match, is "feeling better". After suffering a 10-wicket defeat to Pakistan, India will clash with NZ on October 31.
Pandya was struck on his right shoulder
Pandya was taken for scans after he was struck on his right shoulder while batting against Pakistan. "There is no issue and he is already feeling good. It was just a precautionary scan and the team management didn't wish to take a chance as yesterday was only the first game of the tournament," a source informed about the development.
Pandya has been playing as a pure batter
Pandya has majorly played as a pure batter since the IPL 2020. He hasn't bowled for his IPL franchise, Mumbai Indians, as well. Since his return from the back surgery, Pandya has bowled just 46 overs from 41 matches. He has played only white-ball cricket in this period even though he was in the squad for the Test series against England at home.
Pandya hasn't bowled since Sri Lanka series
Pandya hasn't bowled in a competitive game since the Sri Lanka series in July. He bowled a couple of overs in the T20I series. The Indian team management has been wary of using him as an all-rounder due to his fitness issues.
India to face New Zealand on Sunday
India lost to Pakistan in their tournament opener. The Babar Azam-led side chased 152 without losing a wicket. Pandya managed to score an 8-ball 11, while he didn't bowl at all. He looked rusty while batting at the death. India will now lock horns with New Zealand on Sunday before taking on Afghanistan, Scotland, and Namibia respectively.
Why does it matter?
- It was earlier reported that the Indian selectors aren't happy with a one-dimensional Pandya, who was selected as the first-choice all-rounder for the T20 World Cup.
- While announcing the squad, chief selector Chetan Sharma stated that Pandya "will bowl the full quota of his overs" during the World Cup.
- Even if fit, Pandya doesn't fit in the line-up as a specialist batter.