India’s ace bowler Hardik Pandya is out of the game with an injured ankle. How long he will take to recuperate depends on how serious the injury is that he sustained during India’s World Cup clash against Bangladesh in Pune. In case it takes long to heal and Pandya has to sit out for the rest of the matches, who can be his apt replacement to carry on the responsibility? Here are five best faces that could be tried out.
Shivam Dube can be a like-to-like replacement for Hardik Pandya. He is also a seam-bowling option, though he hasn’t had many games under his belt. But he can be a big hitter with the bat in his hand and can be a useful bowler on the Indian pitches. Dube recently played in the Asian Games 2023 for India and had a decent outing.
Vijay Shankar is another seam-bowling all-rounder who has been on the domestic circuit and has performed well. He also played in the 2019 World Cup but hasn’t played any games since 2019. Shankar has played 12 ODIs, scored 223 runs, and taken four wickets. He has done well at the domestic level and can make a surprise entry into the World Cup squad for India.
India can also opt for Deepak Chahar in place of Hardik Pandya. Chahar has been out of the Indian team due to injury and played in 2022. He is a brilliant swing bowler and a bankable performer with the new ball. Over the years, he has also improved his batting skills and tonk the balls for big sixes. Chahar has played 13 ODIs and taken 16 wickets and 209 runs with the bat.
Indian spinners have done a great job so far in this tournament.
And if India want they can also go for Axar Patel, who was initially part of the squad for the World Cup. But an injury ruled him out. However, Axar is good to go and can come as a replacement for Hardik Pandya. He has proven himself as a match-winner with both the bat and the ball and will get a nod among other candidates.
Rahul Tewatia got into the eyes of the fans and experts after he stormed 5 sixes in an over against Sheldon Cottrell of Kings XI Punjab taking the team towards triumph. The uncapped cricketer has played 21 matches in the List-A Indian domestic format. He has hammered 484 runs laced up with 45 fours and 18 sixes. With the leather, the 27-year-old has gripped 27 crucial breakthroughs. Fitting into the Men-in-blues’ allrounder shoes perfectly, Rahul can steal the spotlight with his exceptional cricketing craft.