Fast-bowling all-rounders are rare commodities in cricket. Not many teams are blessed with such talents. Team India truly seems to be missing this privilege, with Hardik Pandya not bowling anymore due to his persistent back issues. His absence in the bowling department was clearly evident in the white-ball matches against Australia in the 2020-21 season. Hardik, for the last couple of years has been struggling with injuries. In the limited matches he has managed to play for India, he has bowled only very few overs. That is one of the key reasons he is no more considered for Tests, where his all-round skills are needed. But according to him, he is confident of returning to bowling his full quota of overs by the time T20 World Cup comes.
Hardik Pandya hasn’t bowled much in international cricket since his back operation in 2019, and not even a single ball since then in the IPL. With T20 World Cup approaching, Hardik is well aware of his role in Team India. It’s not just about scoring quick runs with the bat, but Hardik the bowler will also have to be at his best in the T20 World Cup. Hardik has backed himself to return to bowling at full tilt by the time the T20 World Cup comes around. The all-rounder admitted he is managing his workload with an eye on the ICC competition.
My full focus is on the World Cup: Hardik
“For me, I want to make sure, and I will be able to, that I bowl in all the games of the (T20) World Cup. I am just trying to be smart and make sure that I don't miss that. My full focus is on the World Cup,” stated Hardik.
"Yes, on the bowling front, what matters is how fit I am. Even after my surgery, I didn't drop my pace. My bowling is related to my fitness. The fitter I get, the better it comes out. Whenever I play, I don’t want to play at 50%. (When) I play, I will play at 100%,” Hardik concluded.
Hardik did bowl a few overs against Australia in India's limited-over series Down Under but looked a little uncomfortable. Hardik then bowled 17 overs in the 5-match T20I series against England but wasn't used as a bowler in ODIs. With the remainder of the IPL 2021 campaign set to take place right before the T20 World Cup, he might try his hand at bowling in a few matches before the ICC tournament begins.