IPL 2021: Hardik Pandya Didn't Bowl As A Precautionary Measure Following Shoulder Niggle, Says Chris Lynn
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IPL 2021: Hardik Pandya Didn’t Bowl As A Precautionary Measure Following Shoulder Niggle, Says Chris Lynn

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

Chris Lynn has revealed an apparent shoulder niggle was the reason behind all-rounder Hardik Pandya not bowling during the Mumbai Indians’ two-wicket loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL 2021 opener on Friday.

Mumbai Indians could have certainly used Hardik Pandya’s clever variations in a match that went down to the last ball, especially as it wasn’t a good day at the office for pacer Trent Boult (1/36) and spinner Rahul Chahar (0/43).

 Mumbai Indians opener Chris Lynn (Courtesy- Mumbai Indians Twitter)
Mumbai Indians opener Chris Lynn (Courtesy- Mumbai Indians Twitter)

Chris Lynn: Hardik Pandya Has Got A Bit Of A Shoulder Niggle And Didn’t Bowl As A Precautionary Measure

Chris Lynn explained that Hardik Pandya was dealing with a shoulder niggle while answering a question by Sportskeeda during the post-match press conference. As a result, the MI team management decided against risking him with the ball, keeping in mind the duration of the IPL which will continue till May-end.

“I’m not a hundred percent sure but it’s a bit of a shoulder niggle. I think Hardik Pandya not bowling is maybe more precautionary. He’s played a fair bit of cricket leading up to this tournament, in which he has to play (minimum) 14 games as well.

“So, you don’t want to throw your eggs in one basket and risk injury. The physios and the staff doctors will treat Hardik if there’s something wrong,” Chris Lynn said.

Mumbai Indians' Hardik Pandya bowls during a match in IPL 2019.(AP)
Mumbai Indians’ Hardik Pandya bowls during a match in IPL 2019. (AP)

After managing to score 159/9, MI’s late fightback with the ball wasn’t enough as AB de Villiers (48) inspired RCB to a thrilling victory. For MI, Jasprit Bumrah and debutant Marco Jansen picked 2 wickets apiece but it was an off day for Rahul Chahar who conceded 43 runs and went wicketless.

Chris Lynn: Hardik Pandya Adds Another Dimension To The Team If He Bowls As MI Missed The 6th Bowling Option

After recovering from a career-threatening back injury he suffered in 2019 for which he went back surgery, Hardik Pandya bowled quite impressively and without too much apparent discomfort during the recently-concluded limited-overs series against England. He didn’t bowl in IPL 2020 at UAE and didn’t bowl much in the Australia tour except one ODI.

Chris Lynn, who top-scored for MI with a 35-ball 49 against RCB, is hopeful about seeing Hardik Pandya bowl soon. The Australian batsman feels the all-rounder’s presence gives MI captain Rohit Sharma a sixth bowling option to fall back upon.

“He (Hardik Pandya) is a huge factor with the bat but if he gets bowling, then it adds another dimension to the team. We might have been missing the sixth bowler tonight but it’s early stages in the tournament.

“I do believe if Hardik is bowling then it brings out confidence in his batting as well. So fingers crossed we’ll see him with the ball sooner rather than later,” Chris Lynn added.

Harshal Patel finished 5 for 27 for RCB against Mumbai Indians.© BCCI/IPL
Harshal Patel finished 5 for 27 for RCB against Mumbai Indians.© BCCI/IPL

From being 135/3 in 15.5 overs, MI could only manage 159/9 as pacer Harshal Patel (5/27) wreaked havoc with some clever change of pace in the death overs. Chris Lynn admitted that batting on the Chennai pitch was challenging and added that the MI batsmen will have to adapt quickly as they have another four matches to play at Chepauk.

“We’re going to have to adapt to this Chennai wicket. It’s going to be challenging and tricky from a batting point of view but we’ve got four more games here to get it right,” concluded Chris Lynn.

Mumbai Indians, haven’t won their opening match for the 9th successive time in the IPL since 2012. The win helped RCB improve their head-to-head record over MI with 11 wins out of 28 matches. This is also the first time RCB won their opening game of the IPL.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt), Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Marco Jansen, Jayant Yadav, Trent Boult,  Jasprit Bumrah

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli(c), Rajat Patidar, AB de Villiers(w), Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal

Mumbai Indians will next take on Kolkata Knight Riders at Chepauk on Tuesday.