Star India all-rounder doubtful to play AFG T20 series and IPL 2024

He was also absent during the white-ball series against Australia and the South African campaign in December.
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In a recent development, India's versatile all-rounder player, who suffered an injury during the 2023 World Cup, is likely to miss the upcoming home T20 series against Afghanistan. Notably, he was absent during the white-ball series against Australia and the South African campaign in December. Although there were hopes for his recovery in time for the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan in January, recent reports from PTI suggest that Hardik Pandya's return is uncertain. This has raised concerns about India's captaincy options for the upcoming home contest.

Scheduled between January 11-17, the T20I series against Afghanistan is crucial for India as it serves as their final T20I assignment before the World Cup in June. Earlier reports also indicated that Suryakumar Yadav would be unavailable for the series due to an ankle injury sustained while fielding against South Africa. With a suspected tear, Suryakumar's recovery period is estimated to be around six weeks.

According to PTI, the likelihood of Hardik recovering from his ankle injury anytime soon is minimal. 

 Hardik's absence creates crisis over captaincy roles 

"There is no update on Hardik's fitness status as of now and one can say there remains a big question mark of him being available before the end of IPL," a BCCI source told PTI on condition of anonymity.

As a result, he is expected to miss not only the Afghanistan series but also the IPL 2024 season, posing a significant setback for both Team India and the Mumbai Indians.

The absence of Hardik Pandya may prompt selectors to consider reinstating Rohit Sharma as captain to lead the team against Afghanistan. This development holds implications for the Mumbai Indians as well, considering they recently named Hardik as their captain for the IPL 2024 season, concluding Rohit Sharma's decade-long leadership during which he guided the franchise to five titles.

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Notably, Hardik was traded back to Mumbai from the Gujarat Titans in an all-cash deal late last month.

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