Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene has opened up on Hardik Pandya’s inability to bowl in IPL 2021 so far. Hardik Pandya, a crucial member of Mumbai Indians’ line-up and played an instrumental role in their dominance, has not bowled in the ongoing tournament so far. Mahela Jayawardene revealed that the 27-year old could not bowl due to a shoulder niggle.
Hardik Pandya’s bowling performance in the recent T20 series against England was a significant boost as he delivered some game-changing spells. Hence, the Mumbai Indians hoped that the Baroda-born all-rounder could work his magic with the ball along with the willow. Having not fired with the bat yet, Pandya has not bowled either. Nevertheless, the same has not hurt the defending champions as they managed to rack up two wins out of three games in the current season.
Mahela Jayawardene underlined that due to a shoulder niggle, Hardik Pandya has ceased to bowl in the first two games. Nevertheless, the former Sri Lankan captain highlighted the all-rounder’s usefulness in the field, given Pandya affected two crucial run-outs against the SunRisers Hyderabad that was integral in Mumbai’s win.
“We have always used Hardik on the boundary line because of his speed and he has a good throwing arm and his catching ability. Last few games, because he has a niggle in his shoulder, we kept him in 30 yards and he has proved the value of that by picking up a few run-outs because he is agile,” Jayawardene said as quoted by Times of India.
We were looking forward for him to be bowling this season: Mahela Jayawardene
Mahela Jayawardene stated they looked forward to Hardik bowling in IPL 2021, but they do not want to rush him into bowling. The 43-year old wishes to ensure that the 27-year old gets in good shape to roll his arms and with nursing, work-ups, the management hopes he would be able to fulfil that ability too.
“We were looking forward for him to be bowling this season. He was coming back from an injury already, but after those matches against England, the last ODI, I believe he picked up niggle, so that is something we are nursing at the moment. We don’t want to risk it because it is important that we make sure that he is in a position to comfortably come and bowl. So hopefully in the next few weeks, with a bit of work and all that, we might see him bowling,” he added.