Hardik Pandyas hasn’t bowled a single ball so far for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2021 due to a shoulder niggle. He didn’t bowl last season as well and played as a specialist batter helping MI clinch their fifth title in the UAE.
Hardik Pandya has had to deal with back and shoulder injury issues in the past couple of years, due to which he hasn’t bowled much for India and in the IPL.
He returned to bowling in the white-ball matches against England, before which he had sent down just four overs during the second ODI against Australia in November 2020 – the first time he had bowled since September 2019.
The 27-year-old says that he misses his bowling but at the same time since he has to play as a pure batter, he doesn’t let it put extra pressure on his batting. Hardik Pandya understands that injuries are part of the sport, and can do nothing much about it other than smile and move on.
“I do miss my bowling but I don’t think it’s putting more pressure on my batting. Its just part and parcel of the game. I have realised that playing as an all-rounder throughout my life, I have learnt how to deal with it (injuries) and move forward with a smile,” Hardik Pandya was quoted by Times of India as saying.
Hardik Pandya Will Bowl As Soon As The Niggle Cools Off: Mahela Jayawardene
Mahela Jayawardene, Mumbai Indians head coach, had earlier revealed that the all-rounder suffered the niggle after bowling against England. Jayawardene says that while they would like him to bowl in the IPL, however, they wouldn’t risk aggravating the injury by rushing him before the “niggle cools off.”
In Hardik Pandya’s absence with the ball, Kieron Pollard is tasked with the sixth bowler’s job. Mumbai Indians have won 2 of their 5 games so far, losing their last two. They move out of Chennai and will face Rajasthan Royals on Thursday afternoon in Delhi.
“We were obviously looking forward for him to be bowling this series as last season he was coming back from injury. But after the ODIs against England I believe he picked up a niggle. So that’s something we are nursing at the moment. We don’t want to risk it because it’s important that we make sure that he is completely in a position to come in and bowl,” Jayawardene said in a press interaction.
“Hopefully in the next few weeks, with work and all that, you might see him bowl. It’s not like we are deliberately trying not bowl him. We would love to have him bowling but as soon as the niggle cools off and he is comfortable we should be able to utilise that asset as well,” he added.