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There might not be the balance in the team that Hardik Pandya gave us in the first 4 games, suggests Rahul Dravid


Indian head coach Rahul Dravid has reiterated that the team will miss the invaluable balance that all-rounder Hardik Pandya brings to the playing XI in their match against New Zealand at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Dharamshala on Sunday. Pandya injured his ankle while playing in the team’s ninth match against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune on Thursday.

He will join the Indian team directly in Lucknow for their high-octane clash against England in Lucknow on Sunday, October 29. Dravid stressed his importance to the team in the pre-match press conference but explained that the think tank would find a way to find the best possible combination from the team’s 14 available players.

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“Yes, obviously he’s an important player for us and he’s an important all-round player, which really helps us balance our team well. But he’s going to miss this game, so we’ll have to work around that and see ‘What’s the best combination and the best we can find. I mean, at the end of the day, we have to work with the 14 that we have,” Dravid told the media.

He added: “Sometimes you expect these kinds of things to be able to happen, that’s why you have a team. We will have to see what works best for these conditions and these wickets. But yes, we don’t We probably won’t have that kind of balance that we probably used in the first four games.

The team is likely to replace Pandya with Suryakumar Yadav, who is recently being groomed for the No. 6 role in ODIs. Touted as an X-factor player, Surya played a starring role in the team’s victory in the bilateral ODIs against Australia ahead of the World Cup. He scored two half-centuries, including a 72* at Indore in the second match of the three-match series, and will be hoping to repeat those feats against the high-flying Himachal Pradesh Kiwis.


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