Mumbai Indians (MI) Director of Cricket Operations Zaheer Khan recently revealed that Hardik Pandya is keen to bowl in IPL 2020 but the physios are waiting for the all-rounder to regain full fitness before he resumes doing so.
Hardik Pandya is making a comeback in this year’s IPL after undergoing a back surgery in November last year. He last played for India in the third T20I against South Africa at home in September 2019.
Khan said injuries are critical to a bowler’s fitness and that the MI management has got no option but to stay patient.
“we have to listen to his body and that is something the conversation which we have been having in consultation with the physios. We are looking forward for him to bowl, he is very keen and really wanting to bowl, we just have to wait and be patient and listen to his body. At the end of the day for any bowler injuries play a huge role,” Khan said.
Hardik Pandya scored 18 and 14 runs with the bat against the Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings respectively. But, the 26-year-old didn’t bowl a single over in either of these matches.
We are happy Hardik Pandya is there as a batter: Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan acknowledged that Hardik Pandya's bowling does add another dimension to the Mumbai Indians attack, but said that the team was happy with his batting contribution for the time being.
“We are all expecting him (Hardik Pandya) to bowl and he is someone who really changes that balance of any side when he is bowling and he understands that... We are happy that he is there as a batter and with full fitness contributing and that is the exciting part and hopefully you will see [him] bowl soon,” Khan added.
Hardik Pandya has scored 1,100 runs and picked up 42 wickets in 68 IPL matches so far. He had his best IPL season last year when he scored 402 runs at an average of 44.66, while taking 14 wickets at a strike rate of 18.21.
Mumbai Indians will play the Royal Challengers Bangalore next in their third match of IPL 2020 on Monday.