Pandya, India’s premier seam-bowling all-rounder, has been dealing with his back injury issues, which have forced him to bowl less. He hasn’t played Test cricket since 2018 and he hasn’t been fit enough to bowl even short spells, let alone take the toll of a full day’s work.
“With Hardik, we are obviously slowly taking it forward. I am not going to push him in terms of the number of overs to be bowled. He is pretty much being monitored on how much we are going to push him. We have to slowly build up,” Paras Mhambrey told IANS.
He didn’t bowl a single ball in last season’s IPL, and in the first half of the IPL 2021 as well. But he is now gradually gaining fitness as the T20 World Cup nears.
Being a pace-bowling all-rounder, it would be key for India that Hardik is able to provide his quota of 4 overs as that would give the desired balance to the eleven.
“The World Cup is coming. For us, knowing that he is going to play a very crucial role for us, it is important to manage his bowling workload very well. We know the batting that he offers you. But if we add the bowling to it, he brings a different dimension. In that sense we are working on it. Everyone — strength & conditioning department and the physios – is in sync and we have chatted it out,” Mhambrey added.
First step is the IPL, then the World Cup For Hardik Pandya: Paras Mhambrey
Since last year’s IPL, Pandya has been bowling in bits. He bowled in the home limited-overs games against England and then in Sri Lanka.
Paras Mhambrey, who played 91 first-class games and 5 international matches, is certain that Pandya will bowl for the Mumbai Indians in the second leg of the IPL 2021, which starts on September 19. From there the management will observe his progress regarding his bowling and fitness before the World Cup.
“Yes, the way I look at him and the way I feel, I am sure he will bowl [in IPL]. First step is the IPL. Maybe the franchise will decide how will they use him. That, kind of, will decide how it will be preparatory ground for the World Cup,” he added.