India vs New Zealand: MS Dhoni out injured, Hardik returns after Koffee with Karan row
Hardik Pandya has been included in India's playing XI for the third one-day international against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui on Monday. Pandya has replaced Vijay Shankar in the side.
On the other hand, India will miss the presence of wicket-keeper and former captain MS Dhoni after he sustained a sore hamstring. Dinesh Karthik has replaced him in the playing XI for the third ODI at Bay Oval.
Dhoni has overall missed only five ODIs in the last 14 years because of fitness issues.
The last time Dhoni missed an ODI due to an injury was six years ago during a tri-series in the West Indies in 2013. Dhoni had missed three matches in that series because of hamstring strain.
In 2007, he did not play against Ireland and South Africa due to viral fever.
Hardik Pandya, along with KL Rahul, was suspended for sexist remarks on popular TV show, Koffee with Karan. The duo was sent back home from Australia. However, the suspension was lifted last week pending the appointment of an ombudsman.
Pandya returns to the playing XI for the first time since an injury he picked up in the Asia Cup in September last year. After gaining full fitness, Pandya joined the team during the Test series in Australia and was expected to play in the ODIs before the Koffee with Karan controversy erupted.
INDIA VS NEW ZEALAND 3RD ODI MOUNT MAUNGANUI LIVE SCORE
Pandya's presence lends solidity and balance to the side and skipper Virat Kohli has time and again admitted it. The Baroda all-rounder's replacement Vijay Shankar is a decent cricketer but is yet to possess the X factor that Pandya has. That Shankar was given only two overs in the second ODI is an example that he is still not ready to shoulder extra responsibility.
Koffee With Karan was aired on January 6 and soon after the controversy followed. In the show, Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul talked about their relationships, crushes, favourite movies, actors and actresses. While Rahul kept a level head on his shoulders and chose his words very carefully while replying to Karan Johar's questions throughout the show, it was Hardik Pandya who boasted about hooking up with multiple women and even spoke about how open he is with his parents.
"When I lost my virginity, I came home and said, 'Main karke aya hai aaj (I had sex today)'. At a party my parents asked me 'acha tera wala (women) kaun sa hai [who is your interest here?] so I said yeh, yeh, yeh (pointing out women)' and they were like 'waah proud of you beta'," Pandya boasted.
The 25-year-old also said things like, "I like to watch and observe how they (women) move. I'm little from the black side so I need to see how they move," when Karan Johar asked him why he doesn't ask women for their names in nightclubs.
The Baroda all-rounder received a further setback when Gillette terminated its contract him. Pandya was also replaced in the team by Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar for the ongoing ODI series in Australia and India's limited-overs tour of New Zealand later this month.