As Mumbai Indians incurred their second loss of phase 2 of the Indian Premier League, fans of the franchise were badly missing the presence of Hardik Pandya on-field. Hardik Pandya has now missed back-to-back matches and is very likely to miss the next one as well. The same has become a major setback for Mumbai Indians.
His absence is costing Mumbai Indians big now as they have jumped down to 6th position in the points table after suffering a loss last night by the hands of KKR. According to the team’s bowling coach Shane Bond, Hardik is still recovering from an injury, that he picked during the practice match, making his return doubtful for the next match of Mumbai Indians.
Shane Bond revealed that Mumbai Indians is trying to balance the need of team India as well and don’t want to rush with Hardik’s return with World Cup just around the corner. He said:
“He’s trained today. He’s been close to playing. We’re obviously balancing the needs of our team and the needs of team India as well. It’s the one thing that this franchise does really well is look after its players with an eye not only to win this competition but an eye to the World Cup that’s coming up as well. Hopefully Hardik can be back for the next match and as I said he’s trained today and he’s going pretty well.”
The BCCI has been very cautious about increasing Pandya’s workload ever since he returned from back surgery last year. He has very rarely bowled in this time but chief selector Chetan Sharma, while announcing India’s squad for the T20 WC, claimed that Hardik is 100% fit and he will bowl his full quota of 4 overs.
When asked about whether the Board has anything to do with Hardik Pandya’s stay on the sidelines, Bond said:
“No, not at all. I think the one thing you want to do with your players in your team is look after them. We’re obviously desperate to put him back on the field and any player would be desperate go out there as well. But like anything you have to balance everything.”
“One thing our franchise does is look after our players,” Bond said. “There’s also no point in rushing him back to get injured and miss the rest of the tournament when we have a chance to win it. I think we’re doing the right thing and hopefully we’ll get him back shortly and he’ll have an impact in the back end of the tournament and get us into the play-offs and hopefully win the tournament from there”