Mumbai Indians’ Director of Cricket Operations Zaheer Khan has given an assurance to all the Hardik Pandya fans out there as he said that the all-rounder will be seen bowling for the team pretty soon.
Now, we all know that the 27-year old star has been having problems in bowling ever since he suffered a lower-back injury a couple of years ago. During the first encounter of the IPL 2021, he returned underarm throws while fielding, due to a niggle on his shoulder. While defending 159, Mumbai Indians were almost successful in doing it as the Royal Challengers Bangalore won on the final ball by scoring the required single.
Zaheer Khan said that Hardik Pandya is one of their most valuable cricketers and him not bowling on Friday was part of the workload management. Having delivered as many as nine overs in the final ODI against England, they consulted with the physios and decided against Hardik bowling. The Delhi-born former cricketer pointed out a shoulder concern, which was only minor; hence, Zaheer remains confident of Pandya chipping in with his overs.
“Hardik as a whole package is of great value. It was a workload related thing in the previous game. He bowled in the India-England series, in the last ODI he bowled about nine overs, and that’s why in consultation with the physios, we had to take that approach. There was a little bit of a shoulder concern. I don’t think it’s worrisome, you will very soon see him bowl. For the timelines, you’ll have to ask the physio but in terms of Hardik the bowler coming in this tournament, we are very confident that he will be chipping in,” Zaheer Khan said as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo.
The former Indian pace specialist also expressed that he and the management sees West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard as the sixth all-rounder and he can help with those much needed overs here and there.
“Pollard is our sixth bowling option. He’s an experienced campaigner here so he’s definitely going to be our sixth bowling option. And whenever Hardik is available, he’s going to be a bowling option as well. We’re not very concerned in that department. You have to adapt and adjust. This year it’s a different format so we’ll look to have that flexibility around because of not being able to play in the home ground,” he added.