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Hardik Pandya back in action after four months

The all-rounder played his first competitive match in a Navi Mumbai tournament, taking two wickets with the new ball

In his first competitive match after being forced out of the ODI World Cup last October because of an ankle injury, Hardik Pandya opened the bowling and returned figures of 3-0-22-2 playing for Reliance 1 against BPCL in the DY Patil T20 Cup in Navi Mumbai on Monday.

Hardik Pandya in action during a match at the 18th edition of D Y Patil T20 Cup 2024.(PTI)

Pandya came out to bat only at No.10 (3 not out, 4 balls) as he and Piyush Chawla saw off a tense run chase. Among his wickets was India T20 international Rahul Tripathi.

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Pandya’s return to competitive cricket has been much awaited as had led India’s T20 side for most of last year and would have been a contender to captain in the upcoming World Cup but for injury. BCCI secretary Jay Shah has announced Rohit Sharma as skipper and Pandya as his deputy for the marquee event.

For the past month, Pandya has been training in Baroda while following a return-to-fitness roadmap drawn up for him by the National Cricket Academy. The all-rounder also featured in practice matches at NCA along with Rishabh Pant, who is also returning to fitness after suffering serious injuries in a car accident in December, 2022.

There is a fair amount of curiosity around how Pandya would perform in the upcoming IPL as he would lead a Mumbai Indians side also featuring Rohit Sharma. IPL starts on March 22.


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