Team India will host Afghanistan for a three-match T20I series, starting on January 11 in Mohali. It will be the last international T20I assignment for Team India before the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in June. The team will look to find a perfect combination and try to give as many opportunities as possible to players who are in T20 WC squad contention. Hardik Pandya, who is an integral part of the Indian team has taken a giant leap on the road to recovery to get fit for the Afghanistan series and IPL 2024. Let’s talk about it in detail.
Hardik Pandya posted a video of training on his Instagram
Star Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has picked up an ankle injury during a game against Bangladesh in the ICC WC 2023. Since then, he has been out of action. First, reports were suggesting that he might not get fit for the Afghanistan series. It also suggests that he might also miss the IPL 2024 as well.
Hardik Pandya has posted a video of him training in the gym. He is on the road to recovery and will look to make a comeback in the T20I series at home. He captioned the post as – ‘Progress, every day.’ It shows that he takes a giant leap to recovery as Mumbai Indians (MI) and Team India need him.
The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) secretary, Jay Shah also said that we will see Hardik Pandya playing in the Afghanistan series.
Team India needs Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya has been a very important member of an Indian team for so many years. He gives the right balance to the team with is all-round skills. Team India hopes he will recover soon because an important assignment is coming up in the World T20. The team management has tried a few more all-rounders in the last few years Shivam Dube, Vijay Shankar, etc. But they haven’t found a perfect replacement for Hardik Pandya. So they are dependent on Pandya as their fast-bowling all-rounder option.
If Hardik Pandya doesn’t get fit on time for the WT20, Team India will face a huge blow.
What if Hardik Pandya isn’t fit to play in IPL 2024?
Not just for Team India, if Hardik Pandya doesn’t get fit on time and misses the IPL 2024, it will be a huge blow for Mumbai Indians (MI) as well. The all-rounder’s services as a player will be missed, but he will be missed in the captaincy role as well. MI has decided to give an MI team captaincy to Hardik Pandya after his success with Gujarat Titans in the last two years. He also became India’s T20I captain based on his performances as captain in IPL. So if he won’t be available for the upcoming IPL season, it will be a big loss for MI.
Also, going into ICC WT20 without having any professional cricket under the belt is not easy. Going by the social media and some reports, Pandya is coming back in the Afghanistan series.
Who will captain in the Afghanistan series?
Now the question is who will captain Team India in the Afghanistan series. If we ask this question about 6 months ago, an easy answer would be Hardik Pandya. But his injury makes his case become lightened for India’s captaincy in T20Is. If he wouldn’t have been injured, he might captain Team India in the ICC WT20 2024 in the US and West Indies. But now, reports suggest that the selectors and the team management might consider giving another chance to Rohit Sharma to lead in T20Is again.
The team has a few more options in Suryakumar Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, etc who captained Team India before as well, but Rohit is the front-runner in this. We also learned that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are keen to play in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024. Let’s see what happens next.
So this is the news coming in regarding Hardik Pandya’s fitness. What do you think? Will he recover on time for the Afghanistan series? Comment your predictions below.
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1. How many T20Is Hardik Pandya has played till now?
Hardik has played 92 T20Is for Team India till now. He has scored 1348 runs in 71 innings with an average of 25.43 and a strike rate of almost 140. He has 3 fifties to his name with the highest score of 71.
2. What is the captaincy record of Hardik Pandya in T20Is?
Hardik Pandya captained Team India in 16 T20Is. Out of those, India won 10 games and lost 5. One game ended as a tie. He also captained Team India in 3 ODIs in which he has won 2 and lost one game.