Mumbai Indians' talismanic all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been talk of the town since he has not been picked in the starting eleven by his IPL franchise Mumbai Indians (MI) in the second phase of IPL 2021. Pandya was rested for the first match against Chennai Super Kings and it was learnt that the all-rounder was not fully fit to take the field. Although Rohit Sharma, who also missed the match against CSK was back in the second match against Kolkata Knight Riders, the MI franchise decided to give some more rest to Hardik.
Many fans have been wondering why Hardik is not taking the field and what MI franchise is trying to do. Addressing many doubts regarding Hardik Pandya, the MI bowling Coach Shane Bond has thrown light on Hardik’s fitness and when the all-rounder is likely to feature in the Playing XI.
Hardik Pandya is getting closer to playing: Bond
After MI’s match against KKR yesterday, Shane Bond revealed that Hardik Pandya is training well and is getting closer to play. He also revealed MI is balancing its’ needs and the Indian team's as well because Pandya is a vital cog for the Indian team. “Well, Hardik Pandya is training well, he is getting closer to playing. We’re obviously balancing the needs of our team with the needs of India as well,” Bond said.
The former New Zealand pacer Bond added, “So, one thing this franchise does very well is to look after its players. Not only try to win this competition but also keep track of the T20 World Cup that is coming up next month. So, hopefully, Hardik will be picked for the next match.”
Bond also stated that there is no point in rushing Hardik Pandya back as the tournament is long. “There is no point rushing him back to get injured and miss the rest of the tournament. Hopefully, we will get him back shortly and we’ll have him back,” concluded Bond.
BCCI sent letters to IPL franchises to manage the World Cup bound players
As per reports, BCCI has sent letters to the IPL franchises requesting them to look after and manage the workload of the 2021 T20 World Cup bound players. This is also a likely reason why the MI franchise, which has 6 T20 World Cup bound players, decided to rest Rohit earlier and Hardik in both matches.
Mumbai now is at 6th spot in the points table and time is running against the 5-time IPL winners. They have won 4 matches out of 9 and need to get back on the winning track in order to make it to the play-offs.