Injured Hardik Pandya Will Be Missed, Says Ravi Shastri

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The much-awaited India-Australia tour starts November 21 with a three-match T20I series, which will be followed by a four-match Test and three-match One-day International series. And the one player the Virat Kohli-led team will sorely miss is injured Hardik Pandya, who is currently recovering from an acute lower back spasm during the recent Asia Cup clash against Pakistan. India’s head coach Ravi Shastri on Sunday said that all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be missed during the tough Australian tour starting Wednesday as he provides proper balance to the side.

“I think one player who we will certainly miss in the squad is Hardik Pandya who is sidelined due to an injury. Pandya lends balance to the side because of his ability to operate as a bowler as well as a batsman which allows us to play an extra bowler,” Shastri told reporters in Brisbane.

“We will be forced to think twice with regard to team selection as a result of his absence. Hopefully, he will get fit soon. However, if the fast bowlers perform well, we might not miss him as much,” he added.

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Shastri also added that India would be “taking no prisoners” in their approach to the series. “We want to go out and put our best foot forward and focus on our game rather than what’s happening outside,” he added.

Further adding that there is no weak team in home conditions, he said,”I don’t think so. I always believe no team is weak at home. We might have three or four players not playing when a team comes to India but God forbid if anyone says it is a weak Indian team because you will be surprised.”

The former cricketer then went on to praise his bowlers and said if his bowlers remained fit they will certainly enjoy the conditions here.

“The seamers will certainly enjoy bowling on these pitches. It is important to stay fit as a unit to ensure the best performances on the field,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter which lineup we will be playing against as long as the bowlers are consistent.

“In the past, we witnessed one or two bowlers performing well in spells, but as a unit bowling for three, four, five hours with sustained intensity and discipline. If the bowling attack can ensure the same, any lineup fielded by the opposition will be tested,” he added.

(With agency inputs)