Reports: Hardik Pandya to make comeback in T20I series vs Afghanistan

Hardik Pandya

After a spell on the sidelines due to an ankle injury sustained during the 2023 ODI World Cup, Hardik Pandya is gearing up for a swift return to action. Speculations were rife about an extended absence, potentially impacting his role in the upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan and even sidelining him for the forthcoming IPL 2024. However, a source has confirmed to TOI, that Pandya has recuperated well, poised to lead the Indian team in the upcoming T20I series starting January 11 against Afghanistan.

This news brings relief to both fans and franchises, particularly the Mumbai Indians, who recently appointed Pandya as their skipper after an eyebrow-raising trade from Gujarat Titans. The ankle injury, sustained during the clash against Bangladesh, initially cast doubts on Pandya’s immediate future in cricket, but his swift recovery promises his active participation in the cricketing landscape ahead.

“He has completely recovered from his ankle injury. He has been training every day, he should definitely be fit for the IPL, and possibly the Afghanistan T20Is,” sources said as quoted by TOI.

Jay Shah hints at Hardik Pandya’s comeback

During the Women’s Premier League auction on December 9, BCCI secretary Jay Shah hinted at the dynamic all-rounder’s potential comeback in the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan at home. Speaking to reporters, Shah indicated Pandya’s possible return to international cricket, sparking anticipation among fans for his imminent comeback on the field.

“We are monitoring it (Pandya’s fitness) on a day-to-day basis. He is at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) only and he is working very hard and we will let you know in due course the moment he is fit. He could be fit before the Afghanistan series also,” Shah had said.

Regrettably, Suryakumar Yadav won’t feature in the imminent three-match T20I series against Afghanistan commencing January 11. An ankle injury incurred during the final T20I in South Africa has sidelined the talented batter, dimming his chances of participation in the upcoming series, and leaving a void in India’s batting lineup.