India’s stand-in captain for the first ODI against Australia to be played in Mumbai on March 17, Hardik Pandya has talked about the impact Shreyas Iyer’s absence due to the reoccurrence of his back injury will have on the team combination.
Hardik will lead India in ODIs for the first time as Rohit Sharma is unavailable due to personal reasons. He attended the pre-match presser and one of the questions was how India’s team combination will be affected due to Shreyas Iyer’s absence.
With an average of 46 plus and a strike of nearly 97, Iyer has been an indispensable part of the ODI set-up. Pandya himself had a long lay-off between 2019 and 2020 after undergoing back surgery.
“Obviously there is no timeline but we have to hope for the best. I have been in that situation are the back could be a problem,” he said, recalling his own injury that kept him away from the Indian side for a long period.
It is going to impact us, obviously, we are going to miss him but we will have to slowly start finding solutions if he is not around (for a long time). If he is around he is more than welcome but if he is not then there is a lot of time to think about it and see how we can go forward,” Pandya told the media.
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He also talked about injured pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who has been out of action since July last year apart from a brief 2-game appearance in T20Is against Australia in September 2022.
“Jassi (Jasprit Bumrah) hasn’t been around for quite some time now. The bowling group has been doing a decent job. They’re all experienced now, the number of games they have played. Having Jassi makes a massive difference but to be very honest, we aren’t much bothered because the guys who have taken the role of Jassi, I am quite confident they’ll be doing very well. It gives us good confidence,” Pandya said.
The stand-in India captain for the first ODI here at the Wankhede Stadium, Pandya confirmed a new opening pair for the hosts.
“Ishan and Shubman will be opening the innings. The wicket looks how it does throughout the year. I have been playing here for almost seven years. It is going to be challenging because this wicket will give equal opportunities to both the sides,” Pandya said.