New Delhi. Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene on Friday said that the team is in no hurry to force Hardik Pandya to bowl in IPL 2021 as it could cause trouble for the upcoming T20I. His performance in the World Cup may be affected. After not playing in the first two matches of the second phase of the IPL, Mumbai Indians fed Hardik only as a batsman in the next matches. This led to questions being raised about his selection in the T20 World Cup squad selected for India and the chief selector said that Hardik is fully fit to bowl in the tournaments to be held in UAE and Oman from October 17.
However, Jayawardene does not think so and said that the Mumbai franchise is in constant touch with the Indian team’s ‘think tank’ regarding Hardik. “He (Hardik) hasn’t bowled for a long time, so we are trying to do our best for Hardik,” he told reporters at a virtual press conference ahead of the team’s next match against Delhi Capitals here on Saturday. We are in constant touch with the Indian team management regarding Hardik. This statement of Mahela Jayawardene indicates that the selectors of Team India have not told the whole thing about Hardik Pandya somewhere.
Hardik may struggle in T20 World Cup
Mahela Jayawardene said, ‘Whether he will bowl in the IPL or not, we will decide on every day basis. I think at this point of time if we put more emphasis on bowling to him, he might struggle. Hardik has not bowled as much as he used to after 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.
Mumbai’s second leg has been very poor with the team winning only one match out of four. The defending champions are currently out of the top four and are in fifth place with 10 points from 11 matches. Jayawardene said, “Winning this match was very important. We are now as excited as we were when the tournament started. We did a lot of good things in the last match but still a lot of improvement is needed. He said, ‘We have to play our best cricket to make it to the top four. ‘