India all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be unable to participate in the upcoming limited-overs series against Australia at home due to lower-back stiffness; Ravidra Jadeja to replace him in ODI squad.
As per a Board of Control for Cricket in India release, Pandya will miss the entire series, and, on advice of the board's medical team, will undergo strength and conditioning training in Bangalore's National Cricket Academy from next week.
Pandya had previously suffered an 'acute lower back injury' during the Asia Cup 2018 in September, when he collapsed onto the field after delivering a ball in the group stage match against Pakistan. He had to be stretchered off the field.
Subsequently, he missed the home series against Windies before returning to the squad for the Tests in Australia towards the end of the year, but wasn't picked. He then missed the limited-overs leg of that tour due to a disciplinary suspension handed to him and KL Rahul by the BCCI over his comments on a talk-show.
He made his international comeback in the ODI series against New Zealand, where he looked in good form with both bat and ball.
He would have liked to build on that momentum but the injury has put paid to those plans. With the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 looming large, India will want to get the all-rounder in prime shape sooner rather than later.
India haven't named a replacement for Pandya in the Twenty20 International squad, but have recalled left-arm spinning all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to the ODI squad.
India commence the two-match T20I series against Australia on 24 February in Visakhapatnam. The five-match ODI series will start on 2 March in Hyderabad.
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