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Pandya out of World Cup after ankle swelling resurfaces, Prasidh gets call-up

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Kolkata, Nov 4 (PTI) Star India all-rounder Hardik Pandya was on Saturday ruled out of the ongoing World Cup after failing to recover from his ankle injury.

Pacer Prasidh Krishna, who played 17 ODIs, has been named Pandya’s replacement in the Indian squad, the ICC said in a media release.

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Pandya had hurt his left ankle while fielding of his own bowling in the game against Bangladesh in Pune on October 19.

“Tough to digest the fact that I will miss out on the remaining part of the World Cup. I’ll be with the team, in spirit, cheering them on every ball of every game. Thanks for all the wishes, the love, and the support has been incredible. This team is special and I’m sure we’ll make everyone proud,” Pandya said on ‘X’, formerly twitter.

According to BCCI sources privy to developments at the NCA, Pandya had resumed his training in Bengaluru but the swelling on his left ankle has resurfaced and hence there is no chance that he could even play at the business end of the tournament.

“As it has been said earlier, Pandya doesn’t have any fracture and only had minor tear. He had resumed training but suddenly considerable amount of swelling developed in left ankle region and he wouldn’t have been fit to bowl. “This is not some injury which could be managed with injections. Considerable swelling resurfaced on Thursday and unless it subsides, he can’t do skills training for some more time,” the official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

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The BCCI had three players named as standbys for the tournament — left-handed batter Tilak Varma, wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson and pacer Prasidh and they could only name one of the three.

It is understood the rationale behind Prasidh’s selection is that the team would miss Hardik’s bowling more than his batting and hence the only player who could fit the bill was the Karnataka pacer.

In fact before his lower back stress fracture and subsequent surgery, Prasidh was among Rahul Dravid’s top choice to play ODI cricket and rest as they say is history.

With Shardul Thakur and Ravichandran Ashwin already in the back-up, the Indian team management wasn’t too keen on an all-rounder as both are considered to be decent enough batters.

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In terms of batting, the team is well covered with Ishan Kishan, a left-hander-cum-keeper already in the reserves, hence neither Sanju nor Tilak would have been considered for the role.

Right now, the team is set and even Prasidh, unless some massive injury happens, is unlikely to get a game.

All the three pacers — Mohammed Shami, Mohamamed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah pick themselves and hence there is little chance for Prasidh to get a look-in.

The only situation where some pacers can rest is the Netherlands game where a Shardul, Ashwin or Prasidh could get a look-in in case the first choice fast bowlers are rested before the semifinal likely to be played in Mumbai.

The situation is also God sent for Suryakumar Yadav, who at No. 6, will get to play all of India’s remaining games unless injury happens.

The replacement of a player requires the approval of the Event Technical Committee before the player can be officially added to the squad.

The Event Technical Committee of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 consists of Wasim Khan (ICC General Manager – Cricket and ETC Chair), Chris Tetley (ICC Head of Events), Hemang Amin (Acting CEO – BCCI), Gaurav Saxena (General Manager – Operations, BCCI), Russel Arnold and Simon Doull (Independent Representatives).

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