'If Rishabh would also have been there, it would have made a big difference, yes, because of the kind of player he is.'
Rishabh Pant's absence from the national team would have a huge impact on the side's balance but all that new T20 skipper Hardik Pandya can hope for is his teammates’ speedy recovery.
Pant met with an accident on Friday, when he lost control of his car while driving on NH-58 and is currently admitted in Max Dehradun. He suffered multiple injuries on his head, back, knee and ankle. He was shifted from ICU to a private ward.
The injuries, especially the ones on his knee and ankle, will keep him out of action for a minimum of six months.
"What happened is very unfortunate. No one had any control about it and as a team, we wish him (Pant) all the best. Our love and prayers are always with him and we wish he has a speedy recovery," Hardik said on the eve of first T20I against Sri Lanka in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Hardik then went on to underline the importance of a player of Pant's calibre in the Indian team's set-up.
"Obviously, he was very important but now everyone knows where the situation stands. If Rishabh would also have been there, it would have made a big difference, yes, because of the kind of player he is. But now that he is not there, it is something, we can't control," Hardik added.
The skipper wants all those who will be getting opportunities in the absence of Pant to use them to the fullest.
"There are a lot of people who can get opportunities. Let's see what the future has kept for us and move forward with it," he stated.