IPL 2024: How will Hardik Pandya overcome SKY conundrum in GT vs MI clash?

IPL 2024: How will Hardik Pandya overcome SKY conundrum in GT vs MI clash?

Suryakumar is set to undergo another fitness test on March 21; however, given that he was denied clearance on March 19, it seems unlikely that he'll play the season opener. 

Hardik Pandya is already under heavy scrutiny for his franchise switch. Imagine what will happen if he loses his first match as Mumbai Indians skipper. The star all-rounder will be lambasted by experts and fans for losing to the side he left behind and for replacing Rohit Sharma, a 5-time champion.

Right now, all this seems very likely. MI’s 360-degree batter, Suryakumar Yadav, has been ruled out of their season opener against the Gujarat Titans on March 24. Having suffered an ankle injury in December last year, the world’s No. 1 T20I batter has not been given a clean bill of health by the NCA.

How will Hardik Pandya balance the XI in Suryakumar Yadav’s absence?

Despite having an already strong and flexible lineup, Surya’s absence may disturb their team’s overall balance. Tilak Verma, who generally bats at 4, will most likely move one spot above to accommodate him, and skipper Hardik Pandya can promote himself as well to take the number 3 spot. But this means that they’ll need to reinforce their lower middle order.

That position could be perfect for Nehal Wadhera. Having made his debut last year, the batter scored 241 runs at 26.77 in 14 matches. But the impressive thing about the right-hander was his strike rate. His 241 runs came at a rapid strike rate of 145.18. While he isn’t a type-for-type replacement for Surya, he’s more than capable of carrying his weight down the order.

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Another glaring concern for Pandya is Jason Behrendorff being ruled out of the entire season. The left-arm pacer is an excellent new ball bowler, but his role can be filled by another left-arm pacer, Dilshan Madushanka, who was the third highest-wicket taker in the ODI World Cup 2023.

The impact player rule will also aid skipper Pandya. Depending on the situation, a fast bowler (Akash Madhwal) can be called upon on what is a pacer-friendly Ahmedabad pitch. Vishnu Vinod can also be of service if in need of some quick runs. The 30-year-old batter is a proficient T20 hitter with more than ample experience.

MI Probable Playing XI for GT vs MI

Rohit Sharma
Ishan Kishan (wk)
Tilak Varma
Hardik Pandya (c)
Nehal Wadhera
Tim David ✈️
Mohammad Nabi ✈️
Piyush Chawla
Gerald Coetzee✈️
Jasprit Bumrah
Dilshan Madushanka✈️
Impact player: Akash Madhwal/Vishnu Vinod


Editors pick

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