IND vs AFG: Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav Ruled Out of India's Squad for Afghanistan T20Is | India vs Afghanistan T20I
Photo: AP

IND vs AFG: In a key blow to team India ahead of their T20I assignment against Afghanistan, two senior batters – Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya – have been ruled out of the upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan. The two Indian players will miss the proceedings of the three-match T20I series which is scheduled to begin on January 11.

Suryakumar Yadav copped a blow on his ankle while fielding during the third T20I against South Africa in Johannesburg. The right-handed batter led the Indian side against Proteas in the three-match T20I series, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya, meanwhile, has been out of cricket action since India’s World Cup 2023 fixture against Bangladesh in Pune. Pandya suffered a ligament tear midway through the game against Bangladesh and was subsequently ruled out of the entire tournament.

Pandya continues to be under the close watch of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) medics. As reported by ESPNcricinfo, Hardik, though, has made swift progress, he is yet to achieve his optimal fitness level. As a precautionary measure, the all-rounder has been pulled out of action and now will only be introduced during the Tata IPL 2024.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to announce India’s squad for the Afghanistan T20Is on Sunday. So far there is no clarity on whether the Ajit Agarkar-led selection panel would include the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli or not.

The three-match T20I series against Afghanistan will be India’s final bilateral T20I setting ahead of the impending T20 World Cup 2024. Interestingly, Team India had just three T20I assignments scheduled before the T20 World Cup 2024, of which two are already completed.

The T20 World Cup 2024 will commence on June 1, 2024, right after the completion of the Indian Premier League.

IND vs AFG: Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav Ruled Out of India's Squad for Afghanistan T20Is | India vs Afghanistan T20I
Hardik Pandya suffers injury during World Cup 2023 | Getty Image

Ideally, the board would have liked to have all their first choice 15 T20I players available for selection in the T20I series against Afghanistan. However, injuries to a few of them have put the BCCI’s plans in jeopardy.

Besides, Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya, opener Ruturaj Gaikwad has also been confirmed to miss the upcoming Afghanistan T20Is. The right-handed batter is also likely to miss the initial part of the England tour of India in 2024.

IND vs AFG: India vs Afghanistan T20I Schedule:

  • 1st T20I – Mohali – 11 Jan 2024.
  • 2nd T20I – Indore – 14 Jan 2024.
  • 3rd T20I – Bengaluru – 17 Jan 2024.

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For more details head to ICC’s official website.