“He will not fly with the team to Dharamshala on October 20 and will now directly join the team in Lucknow where India will play England,” the BCCI said in a media release. “He has been advised rest and will remain under the constant observation of the BCCI medical team.” India will play England on October 29, seven days after the New Zealand match.
Pandya injured himself during the ninth over of Bangladesh’s innings when he twisted his ankle while attempting to field a ball in the follow-through. He was taken for scans and took no further part in the match.
“He had a little bit of a niggle,” Rohit Sharma said at the post-match presentation. “No major damage. It’s good for us. But honestly, with an injury like that, you have to assess every day.” “We’ve got to do it. So we just hope he’s OK tomorrow morning. And then we’ll assess, whatever we need to do as a team, we’ll do that.”
Apart from Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav, Pandya is arguably the most irreplaceable player in the Indian team due to his all-round role. He is good enough to play as a specialist batsman but his bowling provides India with the sixth bowler they desperately need. Pandya had bowled 16 overs and taken five wickets in India’s first three World Cup matches.
As there is no replacement available, India will have to change their combination against New Zealand. One option is to bring in Suryakumar Yadav in place of Pandya and Mohammed Shami in place of Shardul Thakur. However, this will leave Rohit with only five specialist bowlers.
India have won all four of their matches so far in the World Cup and are second on the points table, with only net run rate separating them from top-placed New Zealand.