New Delhi, Oct 22: Former cricketer Aakash Chopra feels that India may opt to make two changes to their playing XI following Hardik Pandya's absence in the upcoming ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 clash against New Zealand, scheduled for Sunday at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamshala.
Pandya has been ruled out of India's match against New Zealand after injuring his left ankle in their previous match against Bangladesh at the MCA Stadium in Pune.
While trying to stop a boundary hit by Litton Das on the third ball of the ninth over, Pandya seemed to twist his left ankle in his follow-through after slipping in the process of saving the four and went off the field, to not participate in the rest of the game.
Speaking on his YouTube channel ahead of the match, Chopra showed discomfort with Pandya's absence stating India bowling option in absence of Pandya.
"There is a little concern for India ahead of their match against New Zealand, because now without Hardik Pandya, they do not have a single bowling option among their top six batters. It is not the ideal balance, but it is the way it is. I think if Team India win the toss, they should look to bat first," Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
Pandya's has been effective with his bowling taking five wickets in the tournament till now, his absence will open the door for Mohammad Shami and Suryakumar Yadav who hasn't played any matches of the tournament eyeing the batting depth and bowling option.
"In my opinion, in his absence, Suryakumar Yadav should come in and play at No.6, and Mohammed Shami should replace Shardul Thakur as well. Now, unfortunately, only one player was ruled out, but that might lead to two changes being made to the playing XI. This shows the value of Hardik Pandya," Chopra added.