The Indian cricket team seems to be in a spot of bother with its key players getting injured often. After KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, all-rounder Hardik Pandya is expected to be out action for at least six weeks after suffering a fracture in his right shoulder in Mohali, the Board for Control of Cricket in India confirmed on Tuesday (November 29).
The Baroda youngster was hit during a net session and was subsequently released from the side to consult a specialist.
Pandya was handed a maiden Test call-up for the on-going India-England Test series due to the absence of the other three key players. But he has been warming the benches.
The 23-year-old’s selection in the Test team was a much-debated topic, with most people opining that the youngster was not experienced enough to play Test cricket.
Pandya has played just 16 first-class matches and taken 22 wickets at an average of 33. He has played four ODIs and 16 T20 internationals, and also featured in the 2016 World T20. The Baroda all-rounder was awarded the Man of the Match on his ODI debut against New Zealand.
MSK Prasad, the current chairman of selectors, saw Pandya bowl on India A's tour of Australia, a tour which paved Pandya’s way into the ODI side and then into the Test squad.
"Pandya's pace has increased, he is moving the ball, his batsmanship has improved," Prasad said. "And he has mellowed down as a person. He is one allrounder we thought is an equally competent bowler and batsman. And a good fielder too,” MSK Prasad said after selecting Pandya.
The all-rounder, fondly remembered for his match winning last over against Bangladesh earlier this year, was the only uncapped player in the squad when he picked up the injury, with Jayant Yadav making his debut in Visakhapatnam and Karun Nair in Mohali.
KL Rahul, who suffered a hamstring injury during the India-New Zealand series was confirmed fit for the series against England. But he missed the Mohali Test owing to a last minute forearm injury, but the opener is expected to be fit for the Mumbai Test. Both Rahul and Pandya were released from the squad during the Mohali Test and no replacements were named by the board in its media release.