Why Hardik is not playing today: Why Umran Malik is not playing today vs Sri Lanka in Thiruvananthapuram?

Dixit Bhargav
|Published 15/01/2023

During the third ODI of the ongoing Sri Lanka’s tour of India in Thiruvananthapuram, India captain Rohit Sharma has won the toss and chose to bat in a dead-rubber.

“We will bat first. Looks a good pitch, try to make the most of it. Still a lot of areas we can keep improving, today gives up a chance to perfect those,” Sharma told Star Sports at the toss.

Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka remained unaffected by the outcome of the toss. Drawing similarities between the Greenfield International Cricket Stadium with any other cricketing venue back home, Shanaka hoped for his batters to improve in the last match of the tour.

“Environment here feels very similar to Sri Lanka. We have been good at the start but batsmen haven’t been able to capitalize after that, that’s something we have to improve on,” Shanaka told Star Sports at the toss.

Why Hardik is not playing today vs Sri Lanka?

Both the teams have made a couple of changes to their respective Playing XIs for this match. India have handed opportunities to batter Suryakumar Yadav and all-rounder Washington Sundar in place of vice-captain Hardik Pandya and fast bowler Umran Malik.

Readers must note that both Pandya and Malik have been rested for this match. Pandya, who scored 50 runs across a couple of innings, had picked a solitary wicket at an economy and strike rate of 5.36 and 66 respectively. Malik, on the contrary, had dismissed five batters at an average of 21, an economy rate of 7 and a strike rate of 18.

While the move has strengthened the hosts’ batting department, it has left India with only five bowling options. Batting first, India would really be looking to post a formidable total in the absence of a designated sixth bowling option.

Sri Lanka, meanwhile, have rested all-rounders Dhananjaya de Silva and Dunith Wellalage for batter Ashen Bandara and spinner Jeffrey Vandersay.

Share this article
About the author
Dixit Bhargav

Dixit Bhargav

Born and brought up in Pathankot, Dixit Bhargav is an engineering and sports management graduate who is currently into his fifth year as a Cricket Editor at The SportsRush. His first cricketing memory dates back to 2002 when former India captain Sourav Ganguly had waved his jersey at the historic Lord’s balcony. What followed for an 8-year-old was an instant adulation for both Ganguly and the sport. The optimist in him is waiting for the day when Punjab Kings will win their maiden Indian Premier League title. When not watching cricket, he is mostly found in a cinema hall watching a Punjabi movie.

Read more from Dixit Bhargav