IPL 2021: MI bowling coach Shane Bond answers reason behind Hardik Pandya’s absence from playing XI

Hardik Pandya’s absence has raised questions about his fitness ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup. He has so far missed back to back matches for Mumbai Indians against CSK and KKR. The allrounder is key to MI’s success and his absence has led to MI’s middle-order downfall. As a result, the defending champions have now suffered back to back losses. Meanwhile, MI has slipped to 6th in the IPL 2021 Points Table. The allrounder had picked up a niggle during training in a practice session ahead of the IPL 2021.

It is unsure whether he will be fit to bowl in the remaining fixtures of IPL 2021. He hadn’t bowled a single over in the first 7 matches for MI. Now with T20 World Cup on the head, BCCI has requested franchises, ‘not to rush & risk any of the Indian squad players’.

MI bowling coach Shane Bond has shed light on the development. “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. 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,” Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond said at the post-match conference.

“There is no point rushing him back to get injured and miss the rest of the tournament. Hopefully, we will get him back shorty and we’ll have him back,” he added.

Hardik Pandya is one of the vital cogs in the wheel of Rohit Sharma’s team. His form in IPL in UAE will determine whether Mumbai Indians can defend their title or will they lose out? Pandya’s flop show in Phase 1 was the big reason that Mi currently is lying at No. 4. He did not score runs, he did not bowl and a repeat of his flop show can cost Mumbai Indians their IPL title.

How crucial is Pandya’s batting in middle overs can be gauged from the fact that as he flopped during the 1st 7 matches, MI struggled big time.

  • Hardik Pandya managed just 52 runs in 7 matches with the highest score of 16 runs in IPL Phase-1 at an average of 8 & a strike rate of just 118.
  • His fitness concerns did not let him bowl even once in Phase 1 of the league.
  • In comparison in IPL 2020 – Pandya contributed 281 runs in 14 matches scored at a strike rate of 179 – this led to Mumbai Indians winning the IPL title for a record 5th time.

He recently recovered from his injured lower back but he is yet to prove his fitness on the field. In his 1st bowling attempt since his injury, Pandya recently failed to perform during the recently-concluded India tour of Sri Lanka. He bowled, but managed just 3 wickets and looked unimpressive. With bat also he just scored 29 runs in 3 ODIs and 1 t20I.

Hardik is such a huge talent and a big match player that despite all the concerns Indian selectors have decided to show faith in him by picking him for the T20 World Cup Squad. However, any slip up will cost Mumbai Indians their IPL title & Hardik Pandya his place in the Indian team for T20 World Cup.