T20 World Cup 2021: Hardik Pandya fit for India's New Zealand encounter on October 31

T20 World Cup 2021: Hardik Pandya fit for India’s New Zealand encounter on October 31

Hardik Pandya underwent scans on his shoulder after being hit during India's Pakistan clash.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been cleared to play the team’s next T20 World Cup fixture against New Zealand on October 31. Pandya hurt his shoulder during India’s clash against Pakistan in their tournament opener on October 24 in Dubai and did not take the field in the second innings, with Ishan Kishan substituting him.

However, a BCCI official confirmed that his absence was only a precautionary measure to ensure that his injury did not aggravate. “There is no issue and he is already feeling good. It was just a precautionary scan and the team management didn’t wish to take a chance as yesterday was only the first game of the tournament,” the official was quoted as by the Times of India.

Pandya was taken for scans after being hit on his right shoulder against Pakistan after he was seen in visible discomfort on the field. “Hardik Pandya was hit on his right shoulder while batting. He has now gone for scans,” the BCCI had informed earlier.

The injury comes for the all-rounder after he has already not been able to bowl due to issues with his lower back. Pandya did, however, inform that he is aiming to bowl closer to the knockout stages of the tournament. The league stage will conclude on November 8, with India taking on Namibia.

“The back is fine, it was jittery, but I won’t be bowling for now. I want to be able to bowl eventually, closer to the knockouts. The professionals and I both have to take the call about when I can have a bowl,” he told broadcasters ahead of the Pakistan clash.

India skipper Virat Kohli backed Pandya to play in the team as a pure batter, highlighting what he brings at the No. 6 position cannot be “created overnight”.

“Honestly, I feel that Hardik presently with his physical condition is getting better in terms of being prepared to bowl at least two overs for us at a certain stage in this tournament,” Kohli said.

“We strongly feel that we can make the most of the opportunity at hand till the time he starts bowling, we’ve considered a couple of other options to chip in for an over or two. So, we’re not bothered about that at all. What he brings at that No.6 spot is something you cannot create overnight.”

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