Reports: Hardik Pandya to miss South Africa tour, could return for Afghanistan T20Is

Hardik Pandya injured his ankle during India's ODI World Cup 2023 clash against Bangladesh in Pune, on October 19.

By CricTracker Staff

Updated - 30 Nov 2023, 13:45 IST

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Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya is set to miss India's upcoming tour to South Africa as he is still recovering from a left ankle injury he suffered during India's ODI World Cup 2023 clash against Bangladesh on October 19, in Pune.

India are scheduled to play three T20Is, three ODIs, and two Tests in the Rainbow Nation. The first T20I, on Sunday, December 10, in Durban, will kickstart the multi-format series. As per reports, Pandya will need another four weeks to regain full fitness. Therefore, he should be ready in time for the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan, set to run from January 11 to January 17.

An earlier report stated that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will request Rohit Sharma to return to India's T20I team and reprise his role as captain during the three-match series against the Proteas. A BCCI source has stated that if the Mumbai batter agrees, he will be given the responsibility of leading the Men in Blue in 2024's T20 World Cup. However, if he doesn't, Suryakumar Yadav, who is currently leading India in a five-match T20I series against Australia will continue to spearhead the team in South Africa.

"Yes, there remains a question what happens when Hardik comes back but in BCCI, they feel that if Rohit agrees to lead in T20Is, he will lead in the T20 World Cup. In case Rohit doesn’t agree then Surya continues as captain for T20Is in South Africa," the BCCI source was quoted as saying by OneCricket.

The BCCI is expected to announce the white-ball teams for the South Africa tour on Thursday, November 30. The Test team could be announced in December. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli has reportedly opted to take a breather from white-ball cricket for an indefinite period. This effectively rules him out of the T20Is as well as ODIs against South Africa. However, he should be back for the Test series, which begins with the Boxing Day Test in Centurion on Tuesday, December 26.

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