Mumbai Indians (MI) head coach Mahela Jayawardene revealed that the management is doing whatever it can to bring Hardik Pandya back to full match fitness. Hardik played the last couple of matches in IPL 2021 as a specialist batsman.
He is yet to bowl in the second leg as the management continues to work hard on the 27-year-old. He has been nursing himself back to fitness following plenty of bouts with injuries over the last year or so. Although he is part of India’s squad for the T20 World Cup, it is unsure whether he will play purely as a batsman.
Even in the series against Sri Lanka prior to the IPL, Hardik only bowled a few overs, so his fitness is unknown. Speaking about the developments, Mahela Jayawardene mentioned the team is holding from putting too much pressure on Hardik.
“We’re trying to do what’s best for Hardik, going forward. Whether he can bowl or not in the IPL is something we will have to look at. At the moment, if we push too hard (to bowl), he might be an issue where he might even struggle and might not be an asset as a batsman,” Jayawardene mentioned during the pre-match press conference on Friday.
Suryakumar Yadav’s dip in form is not a concern – Mahela Jayawardene
Speaking about the rising MI batsman, Suryakumar Yadav, Jayawardene believes the rough patch he’s going through will pass, and it’s likely a matter of just one innings. Suryakumar has been struggling in the second leg of the IPL 2021 season, with scores of 3,5,8, and 0 in the four matches so far.
“Surya just needs to spend some time in the middle to get his confidence back. But it’s not a huge concern. Just because we have to make a couple of changes doesn’t mean that the quality of other players is ignored. We make sure these players are fit and in balance when not playing,” Jayawardene added.
MI will next face-off against Rishabh Pant’s Delhi Capitals (DC). A loss against DC will severely dent MI’s hopes of making it to the playoffs.