Ligament damage rules Hardik out of England match

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India allrounder Hardik Pandya will miss a second consecutive game at this World Cup – Sunday’s match against England – as he continues to recover from the ankle injury he suffered against Bangladesh in Pune.

ESPNcricinfo has learned that Hardik has slight ligament damage. He will undergo a fitness test on Thursday before the BCCI medical team decides on his return date.

After the Bangladesh match, India’s captain Rohit Sharma had said there was “no major damage” to Hardik, and the allrounder was referred to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for treatment. Hardik subsequently missed the New Zealand game, with the BCCI expecting him to join the team in Lucknow.

To make up for Hardik’s all-round skills, India played Suryakumar Yadav and replaced Shardul Thakur with Mohammed Shami against New Zealand. Suryakumar was run out for 2 but Shami, playing his first match of this World Cup, picked up a five-for to help India restrict New Zealand to under 300.

However, with the Lucknow pitch expected to help spinners, India could consider bringing in R Ashwin for Shami. The move will also provide the batting cushion down the order.

India are currently at the top of the points table, and the only unbeaten side in the tournament, with five wins from as many matches. After England, they are to play Sri Lanka, at the Wankhede on November 2.

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