Hardik Pandya unfit for AUS T20I series
Hardik Pandya will not be included in the Indian squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against Australia, commencing on November 23, just four days after the conclusion of the 2023 ODI World Cup. According to ESPNcricinfo, the selection for the T20I series is slated for November 15, coinciding with the day when Rohit Sharma's team competes against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-finals in Mumbai.
Hardik sustained a ligament tear in his left ankle during the World Cup league match against Bangladesh on October 19. The BCCI medical staff recommended a rest period of six to eight weeks for his recovery. Initially optimistic about his participation in India's last league match against the Netherlands on November 12, the medical team found that the swelling persisted, causing discomfort during fitness tests. Consequently, Hardik was ruled out of the tournament, with Prasidh Krishna named as his replacement.
Majority of WC players to be rested for AUS T20I series
Sources indicate that a significant portion of the World Cup squad is likely to be rested and the T20I series against Australia may feature players who were part of the Asian Games in October. Ruturaj Gaikwad led the Indian team to a gold medal in Hangzhou, with players such as Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, and Jitesh Sharma in the squad.
The selection panel, headed by former India all-rounder Ajit Agarkar, is expected to consider the workload of the senior Indian team over the past two months, encompassing the Asia Cup and the World Cup.
Additionally, it is understood that VVS Laxman is poised to be the head coach for the T20I series against Australia. However, there is no confirmation yet regarding the BCCI's plans for Rahul Dravid, whose two-year coaching contract concludes after the World Cup.