Hardik Pandya Injury Update: Mumbai Indians Captain To Miss T20I Series Vs Afghanistan But Will Be Fit By IPL 2024, Says Report Hardik Pandya. (Image: ANI)

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya will miss the T20I series vs Afghanistan. The Mumbai Indian (MI) captain was going to captain the Men in Blue in the three-match series at home but he will not be fit by the time the matches begin. The first T20I is on January 11. Hardik had injured his ankle during the World Cup 2023 match vs Bangladesh and has been healing it since then. Hardik missed all the remaining matches since then and was also rested for the tour of South Africa.

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As per a report in Inside Sport and other media outlets, Hardik will not be able to get back to his fittest best by the time the Afghanistan series comes along. Who will captain in absence of Pandya is the big question. Some reports emerged that Rohit Sharma could be back in the T20I fold for India and play the T20 World Cup 2024 in West Indies and USA. The Test captain refused to comment on his T20I return at the recently-held press conference in Centurion. If he returns to T20Is, it will be interesting to see if Rohit leads the Men in Blue against neighbours or not.

A lot happened between Pandya, Rohit and Mumbai Indians as well as change of leadership duties. In what was a shocking news related to IPL, Mumbai Indians decided to trade in the Gujarat Titans captain in an all-cash deal. Pandya was soon named as the new captain of the Mumbai Indians which caused a social media stir. Fans took to the social medis websites and trolled Pandya. Mumbai Indians also reportedly lost lakhs of followers on their Instagram page after Rohit was removed as captain.

Coming back to Indian team, the Men in Blue do not have many T20Is to prep for the T20 World Cup. That is why the three T20Is against Afghanistan are crucial for plans ahead f the World Cup. Hardik is a big player in the T20I scheme of things. He is an all-rounder who brings balance to the playing 11, playing role of two cricketers. His absence did hurt India’s campaign in th ODI World Cup as the management had to include an extra batter to replace him.

If Rohit leads India in the 3 T20Is vs Afghanistan, it could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Rohit was in great touch in the ODI World Cup, giving great start to the team on many occasions. As a captain, he will be able to device such plans in a better way. It will be interesting to see who leads India at the T20 World Cup 2024 when Hardik returns to fitness. 

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