File image of Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant together© AFP
Rishabh Pant’s absence from the national team would definitely have a huge impact on the side’s balance but all that new T20 skipper Hardik Pandya can think of right now is “speedy recovery” of his teammate. A game-changer like Pant, on Friday, encountered a horrifying accident when he lost control of his car while driving on NH-58 and is currently admitted in Max Dehradun with multiple injuries on head, back, knee and ankle. He was on Monday shifted from ICU to a private ward. The injuries, especially the ones on knee and ankle, will keep him out of action for a minimum period of six months.
When Hardik was asked about Pant, he was full of empathy even as he put things into perspective.
“What happened is very unfortunate. No one had any control about it and as a team, we wish him (Pant) all the best. Our love and prayers are always with him and we wish he has a speedy recovery,” Hardik said on the eve of first T20I against Sri Lanka here on Tuesday.
Hardik then went on to underline the importance of a player of Pant’s calibre in the Indian team’s set-up.
“Obviously, he was very important but now everyone knows where the situation stands. If Rishabh would also have been there, it would have made a big difference, yes, because of the kind of player he is. But now that he is not there, it is something, we can’t control,” Hardik added.
The skipper wants all those who will be getting opportunities in the absence of Pant to use them to the fullest.
“There are a lot of people who can get opportunities. Let’s see what future has kept for us and move forward with it,” he stated.
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