New Delhi | Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya is likely to sit out of India's next two World Cup matches as he is yet to recover from his ankle injury that rendered him out of action last week.
Pandya had slipped in his follow-through while bowling against Bangladesh in Pune on October 19 and missed the clash against New Zealand in Dharamsala on October 22 due to the injury.
The Bardoa player had reported to National Cricket Academy on Monday in Bengaluru for his injury management.
"Hardik is still under medication. While the swelling on his left ankle has subsided considerably, he will start bowling only towards the weekend. Right now, important is to give him time to recover," an NCA source told PTI.
Since India are in a very strong position to make the semifinals, having won all five matches so far, Pandya could easily be rested for the next two matches that will allow him complete recovery before the knock-outs.
"Pandya has suffered a bad sprain but fortunately not a fracture. The BCCI medical team wants to take maximum precaution. He is likely to miss next two to three matches. The team wants him fully fit for the knock-out stage," added a BCCI source.
Pandya is likely to undergo a fitness test on Thursday and BCCI's medical team will ascertain his comeback date depending on how smoothly he is able to bowl full tilt without any apparent discomfort or pressure on his left ankle, India next play against defending champions England on October 29 in Lucknow and take on Sri Lanka in Mumbai on November 2.
Pandya's absence had created space for Suryakumar Yadav and Mohammed Shami in the playing XI against New Zealand.
While Shami was brilliant in his first game of the tournament, the Lucknow surface is expected to aid the slow bowlers and there could be a possibility of having Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI for the game.
In that case, the batting will also be bolstered with Ashwin coming in to bat at No. 8.