World Cup 2023: India will miss the balance that Hardik offers, says Dravid

India coach Rahul Dravid admitted ahead of India’s ODI World Cup clash against New Zealand on Sunday that his team lacked balance due to the injury to top all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

Hardik injured his ankle while fielding in India’s last match against Bangladesh in Pune

“Hardik is an important player for us. Obviously he’s missing this game and we’ll try to work around the 14 and figure out what the best combination is. But of course we will miss the balance that we had in the first four games,” said Dravid before the game against New Zealand.

In the ninth over of the match against Bangladesh, after throwing the second ball to opening batsman Litton Das, Hardik tried to stop the ball with his right leg in his follow-through.

As the ball rolled onto the fence, the cameras panned to the Indian all-rounder, who was struggling to get back to his feet.

Later, Hardik was seen hobbling towards his run-up to huge cheers from the crowd. Although he decided to bowl, captains Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli seemed to intervene at the last moment and the duo asked him to leave the field.

The Indian team later confirmed that Hardik will miss the game against New Zealand and will join the team straight away in Lucknow where India will play England on October 29.

“The all-rounder was examined after his fall and was advised to rest. He will be under constant supervision of the BCCI medical team,” the team added.