Hardik Pandya aims to go full throttle at T20 WC
Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya is aiming to bowl in full swing at the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup. Hardik, who has been battling a lower-back issue since the 2018 Asia Cup, is playing as a specialist batsman in white-ball cricket these days. Speaking on the TOI Sportscast, Hardik said he wants to "bowl in all the games" of the mega tournament. Here is more.
My bowling depends on fitness: Hardik
"My focus is on the WC. I want to make sure that I will be able to bowl in all the games. I am just trying to be smart and make sure that I don't miss that," Hardik said. "What matters is how fit I am. Even after my surgery, I didn't drop my pace. The fitter I get, the better it comes out."
Hardik underwent a surgery for his back injury in 2019
Hardik had suffered a lower-back injury during the 2018 Asia Cup. He then returned for the limited-overs series against NZ (2019). However, the discomfort in his back ruled him out Australia series at home. Hardik then featured in the IPL and WC in 2019. He was rested for the WI tour before featuring in the SA T20I series. Thereafter, he underwent a successful surgery.
Hardik didn't bowl a single over in the IPL 2020
After his return to competitive cricket, Hardik played as a pure batsman for a while. He didn't bowl a single over in the 2020 Indian Premier League. Although Hardik did bowl in the SCG ODI, the team management refrained from giving him the all-rounder's role.
Hardik bowled 17 overs in the England T20I series
The team management banked on Hardik's bowling for the first time in the England series at home, earlier this year. In the five T20Is, he bowled 17 overs with an economy rate of under seven. However, the star all-rounder didn't bowl at all in the truncated IPL season thereafter, having developed a shoulder niggle. Just like last year, Hardik played as a specialist batter.
Team India aims to manage Hardik's workload
Considering the T20 WC, Team India is focusing on Hardik's workload management. The Indian all-rounder was dropped for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, starting June 18 and the subsequent England Test series. Instead, he is a part of second-string India squad for the upcoming SL tour. India will play three ODIs and as many T20Is in the nation, beginning July 13.
The focus in on getting ready for SL: Hardik
"Whenever I play, I will play at 100%," he said. "When I heard that we are going to Sri Lanka, I was planning to take rest for 3-4 weeks and just not do anything. I was on the road for seven to eight months. The focus is on getting ready for Sri Lanka and then obviously, the World Cup," Hardik told about his preparations.