Hardik Pandya available for selection for India’s T20 World Cup game against New Zealand

Hardik had hurt himself during India's defeat against Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 26 October 2021 1:35 pm

There is a positive news from India's campaign in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup. All-rounder Hardik Pandya has reportedly been cleared to play the team's next T20 World Cup match against New Zealand on October 31. Notably, Pandya had received a blow on his shoulder during India's defeat against Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday and did not take the field for the second innings.

It was conveyed that Hardik had gone for scans but it is now being revealed that the scans were precautionary in nature as the Indian cricket team did not want to take any chance since it was the first match of the tournament. Ishan Kishan had substituted Hardik on the field.

"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 it was only the first game of the tournament," a BCCI official was quoted in an ANI report.

Questions being raised over Hardik's place in India XI

While Hardik will be available for selection for India's next match, there are several cricket experts and commentators who have already started questioning his place in the Indian team. This is because Hardik has not been in a condition to bowl due to his injury and neither has been scoring handsomely with the bat in recent matches.

This has forced the Indian team management to have a very rigid five bowler policy which meant even as a few bowlers went for runs against the Men in Green, there was no allowance of an extra over or two from a reliable option. When Rohit Sharma, who was leading the team in the second warm-up fixture against Australia, was asked who could be the extra bowling options he hinted that he himself along with Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav could perhaps roll their arms over when required.

Virat bowled 2 overs in warm-up match against Australia

However, none of them have bowled regularly in the past, although Virat was tried for a couple of overs in the warm-up match. But in a match where the opposition is already attacking, which is the reason probably a frontline option is feeling the heat, an option like Kohli may not be the wisest one at all.

It remains to be seen whether Hardik is named in the India XI for the New Zealand team.