World Cup 2023: India is aiming to strengthen their bowling unit in the absence of Hardik Pandya, who is set to miss his second consecutive game in the World Cup due to a ligament injury. They played an extra seamer, Mohammed Shami, and excluded all-rounder Shardul Thakur in their recent match against New Zealand, opting for Suryakumar Yadav as an additional batter. This move helped them defeat New Zealand by 4 wickets, extending their winning streak to 5 matches in the World Cup 2023.
World Cup 2023
Hardik Pandya’s absence forced India to play with only 5 bowlers for the first time in the tournament. Virat Kohli even bowled three deliveries, contributing his part in the absence of Hardik Pandya.
The upcoming match between India and England is likely to be played on a spin-bowling friendly pitch in Lucknow. However, pacers have also performed well in Lucknow in the World Cup 2023. India has the option of including R Ashwin as an extra spinner in the lineup, but this might require them to drop a pacer to maintain a strong batting lineup.
In preparation for the match, some of India’s batters practiced their bowling during a training session in Lucknow. Virat Kohli bowled to Shubman Gil, while other players like Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, and Kuldeep Yadav tried their hand at bowling with their non-dominant arm. This suggests that India is exploring additional bowling options within their batting lineup.
Former India selector Sarandeep Singh emphasized the importance of having six bowling options, even without Hardik Pandya. He mentioned the need for contingency plans in case key bowlers have an off day. India is unlikely to rush Hardik Pandya back into action and will likely wait until the knockout stages of the tournament to ensure his full recovery.
In summary, India is making strategic adjustments to their bowling unit in the absence of Hardik Pandya, exploring options to maintain a strong bowling lineup and secure their position in the World Cup.