Monday, December 6, 2021

NZ vs IND T20 World Cup: Hardik Pandya passes fitness test and bowled at the nets ahead of New Zealand Clash – Latest Cricket News

Hardik Pandya bowled in the nets for the first time after months on Wednesday, raising the prospects of his return as an all-rounder in the team for the crucial T20 World Cup match against New Zealand. If he is selected in the team, then India will get the option of the required sixth bowler. India suffered a 10-wicket loss to Pakistan in the opening match of the Super-12, which is a must for the team to win the match against New Zealand.

Hardik was not able to bowl due to which the balance of the team got disturbed. Hardik last bowled in the Sri Lanka series in July and did not bowl a single over in the United Arab Emirates while playing for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. Hardik also suffered a shoulder injury while batting in the match against Pakistan and was unable to take the field after India’s innings as he went for a scan. On Wednesday, Hardik did a ‘fitness drill’ under the guidance of strength and conditioning coach Sohum Desai and physio Nitin Patel. He then bowled Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur in the nets for about 20 minutes.

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Indian head coach Ravi Shastri and mentor Mahendra Singh Dhoni were also watching Hardik practice. Hardik faced a throwdown from batting coach Vikram Rathod after the bowling. Hardik played as a batsman against Pakistan but could not live up to the expectations by scoring just 11 runs in eight balls. There was a lot of criticism after Hardik’s inclusion in the squad selected for the T20 World Cup due to fitness concerns.

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