India all-rounder Hardik Pandya is fit and will be available for selection for the team’s second game against New Zealand on October 28. The 28-year-old was off the field during Pakistan’s second innings due to slight discomfort in his shoulder. As it turns out, there was no major concern as a BCCI official has confirmed that Pandya’s absence from the field was due to precautionary measures.
“There is no issue and he is already feeling good. It was just a precautionary scan and the team management didn’t wish to take a chance as yesterday was only the first game of the tournament,” the official was quoted as by the Times of India.
The all-rounder didn't have a great game and could only score 11 runs. There are also concerns about his bowling. Pandya has not bowled a single over in the tournament so far, including the warm-ups thus it will be interesting to see if the Indian management is keen on playing him as a pure batter. However, Pandya has confirmed that he will start bowling at some point near the knockouts.
“The back is fine, it was jittery, but I won’t be bowling for now. I want to be able to bowl eventually, closer to the knockouts. The professionals and I both have to take the call about when I can have a bowl,” he told broadcasters ahead of the Pakistan clash.
Kohli has also backed Pandya to play as the designated finisher of the team. The 32-year-old said what Pandya brings to the table cannot be created overnight.
“We strongly feel that we can make the most of the opportunity at hand till the time he starts bowling, we’ve considered a couple of other options to chip in for an over or two. So, we’re not bothered about that at all. What he brings at that No.6 spot is something you cannot create overnight,” said Kohli.