The three-match T20I series is taking place from January 11th to 17th and will serve as India’s final international assignment before the 2024 T20 World Cup in West Indies/USA.
Team India’s interim captain in the shortest format, Hardik Pandya is reportedly set to miss the upcoming series against Afghanistan. The star all-rounder suffered an ankle injury during the 2023 World Cup and was ruled out halfway through the tournament. Pandya participated in four World Cup matches and scored an unbeaten 11 runs against Australia. Regrettably, he sustained his injury during a league stage match against Bangladesh on October 19th and was unable to play any further matches. As a result, he also missed the five-match T20I series against Australia, as well as the three-match T20I and ODI series during the South African tour.
Suryakumar Yadav led the young side in T20Is in Pandya’s absence, while KL Rahul took charge in the ODI series. However, with Suryakumar also ruled out for the Afghanistan series due to injury, it remains uncertain who will be chosen to lead the team. Alternatively, it would be intriguing if the selectors decide to recall Rohit Sharma, who was rested during the limited-over South African series, to lead against the Asian side.
Pandya’s recovery is of utmost importance for Mumbai Indians as the 30-year-old has been appointed as their new captain for the 2024 IPL season. This fast-bowling all-rounder was traded from Gujarat Titans (GT) to MI prior to the mini-auction and has now taken over the captaincy from Rohit Sharma, who has long been the face of the franchise.