Bengaluru, September 20: Hardik Pandya will miss the Asia Cup 2018 because of a back injury. Deepak Chahar has replaced Pandya in the squad.
Pandya suffered a back injury in the match against Pakistan on Wednesday (September 19) at Dubai and had to be stretchered off the ground. Meanwhile, a BCCI release said left-arm spinner Axar Patel injured his left index finger while fielding in the game against Pakistan. He was sent for scans and the results showed that he had a tendon tear. He will be unavailable for the remainder of the series. Ravindra Jadeja will replace Axar Patel in the squad.
Right-arm pacer Shardul Thakur experienced right hip and groin soreness after the game against Hong Kong. He will be unavailable for the remainder of the series. Siddharth Kaul will replace Shardul Thakur in the squad.
The incident took place in the 18th over of the Pakistan innings when the all-rounder was bowling his fifth over. It was the fifth delivery and Pandya, after completing the follow through, immediately felt his lower back and lay on the ground in considerable pain. He was unable to get up and was stretchered off and was taken for medical examination.
"Hardik Pandya has an acute lower back injury. He is able to stand at the moment and the medical team is assessing him now. Manish Pandey is on the field as his substitute," BCCI's media team updated.
Injury update - @hardikpandya7 has an acute lower back injury. He is able to stand at the moment and the medical team is assessing him now.— BCCI (@BCCI) September 19, 2018
Manish Pandey is on the field as his substitute #TeamIndia #AsiaCup pic.twitter.com/lLpfEbxykj
Pandya's figures were 4.5-0-24-0 after Babar Azam's catch was dropped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni when the batsman was on 32. Azam however was later dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav.
In fact, the fitness of Hardik Pandya has been of much debate of late. The all-rounder has been playing continuous cricket especially in England where he played all five Tests and limited over games over a period of more than two months.
In that context, it has been asked to give rest to Pandya for the Asia Cup. A similar concern was there with skipper Virat Kohli's fitness. Kohli had suffered back spasm in June and had to skip the one-off Test against Afghanistan and the county stint with Surrey.
The niggle reared its head again in the Test series against England - during the third Test at Lord's to be precise - and there was a big concern over Kohli's availability for the third Test at Trent Bridge. But he recovered in time to play the remainder of the series that India lost 1-4.
However, the selectors decided to rest Kohli for the Asia Cup considering his workload and the upcoming home series against the West Indies and the tour of Australia end of the year.