Shreyas Iyer’s absence will affect India’s World Cup preparations: Hardik Pandya

India’s stand-in captain Hardik Pandya said here on Thursday that the absence of injured Shreyas Iyer will impact India’s preparations for the ODI World Cup later this year. Iyer has been ruled out of the three-match ODI series against Australia starting on Friday due to a back injury and there is no definite time frame on when he will be able to make a comeback. He is also likely to be ruled out of the opening matches of the Indian Premier League.

Pandya told reporters on the eve of the first ODI, “Definitely there is no deadline for his return but we are hoping for the best. We wish him a speedy recovery. “He said,” His (Iyer) absence will have an impact and we will certainly miss him but if he does not make a comeback soon, we will have to find a solution. If he is in the team then it is welcome but if he doesn’t then there is a lot of time to consider how we want to move forward.

India’s list of injured players also includes fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who recently underwent back surgery in New Zealand. His target is to make a comeback till the World Cup. Pandya said, “There is no such long-term plan. Jassi (Bumrah) has not been with the team for some time now. Our bowling group is playing well. They are all experienced now.

Having Jassi makes a big difference but to be honest, we are not too worried about it because the players who have taken over for Jassi, I am sure they will do well. Will play without who has pulled out of this match due to family commitments. Pandya said that in his absence, Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill will open the innings. He said, “Ishan and Shubman will open the innings. The wicket looks the same throughout the year. I have been playing here for almost seven years. It will be challenging as the wicket will give equal opportunities to both the teams.

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