When will Hardik Pandya start bowling? Mahela Jayawardene answers
Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya hasn't bowled a single over in the ongoing Indian Premier League edition. Head coach Mahela Jayawardene, on Friday, stated that pushing Pandya "too hard" to bowl could affect his batting. However, as per recent reports, the Indian team management isn't satisfied with Pandya, who is a part of India's squad for the T20 World Cup. Here's more.
Here is what Jayawardene said
"Because he [Hardik] hasn't bowled since Sri Lanka for a longer period of time and he had another niggle and managed getting through that process, what we are trying to do is what's best for Hardik," Jayawardene said. "We are talking to the Indian management team and make sure that sooner he feels comfortable, we get him to the bowling programme and prepare him."
Pandya has been playing as a pure batter
Pandya has played as a pure batter for Mumbai since the IPL 2020. He hasn't bowled much for the Indian team as well. Since his return from the back surgery, Pandya has bowled just 46 overs from 41 matches. He has played just white-ball cricket in this period even though he was in the squad for the Test series against England at home.
Pandya last bowled in the Sri Lanka series
Pandya hasn't bowled in a competitive game since the Sri Lanka series in July. He bowled a couple of overs in the T20I series. Even the Indian team management was wary of using him as an all-rounder due to his fitness issues.
Indian selectors unhappy with one-dimensional Pandya
As per a report in Cricbuzz, the Indian selectors aren't happy with a one-dimensional Pandya, who is in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup. It is understood that he can't be in the Indian XI just for his batting. While announcing the squad, chief selector Chetan Sharma had stated Pandya "will bowl the full quota of his overs" during the World Cup.
MI management doesn't want to push Pandya much
"I understand all concerns, but we need to do what's best for Hardik and him going forward and yes, he will be a good asset as a bowler as well. But at the moment if we push too hard, it might be an issue where he might even struggle and not be an asset as a batsman," added Jayawardene.
Selection committee can make changes until October 10
The incumbent Indian squad includes only three front-line fast bowlers in the form of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Meanwhile, Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar are in the stand-by list. The presence of Pandya, the bowler, will be a boon for Team India. As per the protocols, the selection committee can tweak the Indian squad until October 10.