Team India head coach Rahul Dravid admitted that Hardik Pandya’s absence will affect the balance of the playing XI for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 match against New Zealand, which is set to take place on Sunday, October 22 at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Dharamshala. The all-rounder has been ruled out of the game due to an ankle injury.
Hardik Pandya suffered the injury during India’s match against Bangladesh. He did not fly with the team to Dharamshala. He will be joining us for the next match against England. On the eve of the New Zealand game, Rahul Dravid spoke about Hardik Pandya’s absence. He acknowledged the all-rounder’s importance in the playing XI. Rahul Dravid also spoke about the possible team combinations.
“He (Hardik) is an important player for us, so we will have to work around that and see what is the best combination that we can come up with. We will have to see what works best for these conditions and these wickets. But probably might not have the kind of balance that we probably used in the first four games.”
“Obviously, the three seamers, having someone like Shami sitting out there and bringing him in this game is a great option. In some cases, there is Ashwin who has obviously been sitting out, who has a great quality as well. So, there are two or three combinations we could use considering this till Hardik gets back,” said Rahul Dravid on team combination.
Rahul Dravid disagrees with ICC’s average pitch ratings
The International Cricket Council (ICC) termed the Chennai and Ahmedabad pitches as “average”. Team India head coach Rahul disagrees with the ratings. India has played at both venues so far in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023. Dravid expressed that they were good pitches, as they tested the batter’s skills as well.
“I will definitely respectfully disagree with the average rating given for those two wickets. I think they were good wickets. If you only want to see 350 (run) games and rate only those wickets as good, then I disagree with that. I think, you have to see different skills on display as well,” Dravid said.
“It’s not about if we wanted to see only 4s and 6s being hit, then we have T20 wickets as well, where, honestly, in Delhi or Pune, probably 350-plus wickets as well. Only those are good wickets, so why are the bowlers here? Why have spinners at all, for that matter?” he added.