New Delhi. Mumbai Indians (MI) have only two games left in the league stage of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. At the same time, Hardik Pandya is yet to bowl a single over in the current edition of the league. Since Hardik Pandya’s all-rounder skills are very important for the Indian team. His inability to bowl has raised alarm bells among cricket fans in the country ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021. As the uncertainty about his fitness is increasing. There is dissatisfaction among the fans about this. In such a situation, the 27-year-old all-rounder issued a positive update saying that he will start bowling soon and for this he is working hard.
Speaking to broadcasters Star Sports ahead of Mumbai Indians’ clash with Delhi Capitals (DC) in Sharjah, Hardik Pandya said, “Aayega early. Prashay puri hai (I will bowl soon. Best efforts are on).” Pandya also spoke about his return to form with the bat with his knock of 40 runs against Punjab Kings and said it was important for him to score runs for his personal confidence. He said, “Run is important and especially when your team wins. It was important for my personal confidence, but it was important to score for the team. We have to assess the wicket and adapt to the given time. The plans should be simple and win over the ball-by-ball odds. There is no alternative, but one thing is that these situations bring out the best in you.”
Earlier, Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene had claimed that pushing Hardik Pandya to bowl could affect his batting performance. Jayawardene, the former Sri Lankan captain, said in his pre-match press conference before facing Delhi Capitals, “Because he hasn’t bowled since Sri Lanka, I think what we are trying to do is do the best for Hardik. It’s good. We are talking to the Indian management and making sure they feel comfortable at the earliest. When that happens, we will include him in the bowling program and prepare him.
He further said, “We have to watch and evaluate on a daily basis. Will have to see how he progresses. But if he pushes himself too much at this point of time, that could be an issue where he can struggle. We are trying to do our best for Hardik. We are in constant touch with the Indian team management regarding Hardik’s case.
Let us tell you that after not playing in the first two matches of the second phase of IPL, Mumbai Indians fed Hardik only as a batsman in the next matches. Hardik hasn’t bowled as much as he used to since his return from back surgery in 2019. However, he bowled regularly during the five-match T20I series against England in March. But he did not bowl in the first leg of the IPL in India and was not used in the UAE leg as well.