World Cup Diary: Rahul Dravid & Co take a break with a trek

Hardik Pandya’s ankle injury a cause of worry ahead of England game

KL Rahul (right) letting his hair down at a hilly stream with Rahul Dravid and Vikram Rathour (Photo Courtesy: X/Royal Challengers Bangalore)
KL Rahul (right) letting his hair down at a hilly stream with Rahul Dravid and Vikram Rathour (Photo Courtesy: X/Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

It’s not everyday that the Men in Blue get a chance to let their hair down together – that too in the middle of a demanding tournament like the ICC World Cup. With a six-day gap between their last win against New Zealand at Dharamsala on Sunday and the upcoming one against England on October 29, the team members made the most of it in the lap of nature at Himachal Pradesh. 

Head coach Rahul Dravid, along with the support staff of the team, set out for a trek at the hill station in Kangra district. ‘’Superb view coming here after Triund – just getting here up the mountains and climbing it is a challenging trek I must admit. Unfortunately, we can’t bring up the boys here it is risky walking on the stones but hopefully when one of the days boys are not working, they get to experience this,’’ a relaxed Dravid said in a video posted by the BCCI on X. 

Vikram Rathour, the batting coach, chipped in: ‘’When you are climbing up the last trek is a little tricky. The last half hour is hard but the moment the view opens up, it’s worth it.’’

In a photo released by the IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore on X, comeback man KL Rahul is seen chilling out at a hill stream with Dravid and Rathour in company. ‘’Chilling out with your mentors on excursion trips be like fun,’’ it tweeted. 

While the Indian team is sitting pretty at the top of the table with five wins out of five, their biggest worry at this point is the fitness of Hardik Pandya. A report in TOI on Thursday quotes unnamed sources that the Pandya has suffered a Grade I ligament tear in his ankle, suffered while trying to field off his own bowling during the Bangladesh match in Pune on October 9. 

Pandya, who has been providing the much-needed balance for the team with his batting at number six and seam bowling option, is currently at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru under the supervision of BCCI medical team under Nitin Naik. His availability for at least the next two matches against England and Sri Lanka is doubtful while the South Africa game in Kolkata on November 5 is also under cloud as any such ligament tear takes two weeks to heal. 

The Indian team management is reportedly not keen on naming a replacement for Pandya and would rather wait for him to recover. Rohit Sharma & Co have now assembled in Lucknow to begin their preparations for the England test.  

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Published: 26 Oct 2023, 4:24 PM