Hardik Pandya is “close to playing” but Mumbai Indians won’t rush him back as the franchise is also keeping in mind the needs of the Indian team while managing his workload, MI bowling coach Shane Bond said.
Hardik Pandya, who has hardly bowled ever since returning to action after back surgery last year, missed his second successive IPL game in the UAE leg but coach Shane Bond asserted that the Baroda all-rounder was training well and hopefully will make a mark in the business end of the tournament.
Hardik Pandya Is Getting Closer To Playing As MI Balancing Needs Of Team With The Needs Of Indian Team As Well: Shane Bond
Mumbai Indians suffered a seven-wicket loss to Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday in their second IPL 2021 game at UAE. It was after their 20-run loss to Chennai Super Kings in the first game after the resumption.
“Look, Hardik is training well, like Rohit. He is getting closer to playing. We are obviously balancing the needs of our team with the needs of Team India as well,” Bond said at the post-match press conference when asked about Hardik’s status.
“The one thing that this franchise does very well is look after its players with an eye on not only to try and win this competition but also on the T20 World Cup that’s following on,” said the former New Zealand speedster.
“We are hopeful that Hardik will be back for the next match. As I said, he has trained today and trained pretty well by all counts.”
Mumbai head coach Mahela Jayawardene had earlier said that Hardik Pandya was kept out of the IPL game against Chennai Super Kings as a precautionary measure as he had a little niggle. Shane Bond backed the team management’s decision to not play the all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the first two matches. Hardik Pandya is in India’s T20I 2021 World Cup squad and may be seen bowling apart from aggressive batting.
“We are obviously desperate to put him back out on the field. But like anything you have to balance everything up, you have to also consider what the player wants,” he said.
“There’s also no point rushing him back to get injured to miss the rest of the tournament when we may have a chance to win it. I think we are doing the right thing and hopeful (that) we will get him back shortly and he’ll have an impact on the back-end of the tournament and get us into the playoffs and hopefully win the tournament from there.”
Hardik Pandya scored just 19 runs in the two innings he played in the ODI series against Sri Lanka. He picked up only two wickets in the three matches. Even in the solitary T20I, he played on the tour, Hardik Pandya scored 10 runs at a strike rate of 83.33 and conceded 17 runs in the two overs he bowled.
After missing out on a lot of action owing to a back injury, Hardik Pandya made a phenomenal comeback in the IPL 2020 season, playing the finisher role for the team Mumbai Indians and hammering the ball in the slog overs at a strike rate of 178. But in IPL 2021, he disappointed scoring only 52 runs in 7 games averaging a pathetic 8.66. He didn’t bowl in the last two IPL editions.
Shane Bond: Mumbai Indians Was Short Of Their Target Predicted Score As He Credited KKR Bowlers For Restricting Them To Below 160
On Thursday, Mumbai Indians were restricted to sub-par 155 against eventual winners KKR and Shane Bond said that the defending champions were well short of the score.
“I think it was a 175-180 kind of wicket and we were well short of the score. And KKR bowled beautifully, bowled disciplined and then came out and really put us under pressure with the bat and dominated the game and they really deserved to win,” said the 46-year-old.
Shane Bond conceded that his team was completely outplayed by the Eoin Morgan-led KKR.
“Today, they played well. You have to give them credit. They were positive, put us under pressure. We bowled some balls that by our standards weren’t good enough,” he said.
“You can say that they put pressure on us and we weren’t good enough to respond. Look, we have won four of the last six tournaments on the back of some brilliant bowling performances. We will improve, I am sure, over the next coming outings. I am not concerned about that. We were just outplayed today but expect a lot better from us in our next game.”
Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer smashed quick half-centuries as Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Abu Dhabi. Rahul Tripathi scored an unbeaten 74 off 42 balls and Venkatesh Iyer, playing his second IPL game, smashed 53 off 30 balls, as Kolkata raced to 159 for 3 in 15.1 overs, chasing down Mumbai Indians’ 155 for 6 quite comfortably.