IPL 2021: MI coach Zaheer Khan gives BIG update on Hardik Pandya, says ‘He has started training again, hoping he is fit for RCB clash’

Mumbai Indians’ Director of Cricket Operations Zaheer Khan on Saturday said Hardik Pandya has started training again and the franchise hopes the all-rounder is going to be fit for the clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Hardik has not played the games against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 and the franchise had earlier said they are also balancing the needs of Team India. “Well, we have a practice session lined up today and we will see how it goes and then we will take a call. He has started practicing, that is what I can share with you guys, we hope that he will be fit and fine available for the clash against RCB,” said Zaheer while replying to an ANI query during a virtual pre-match press conference.

When ANI asked whether Kieron Pollard is being left to do too much in the middle-order, Zaheer said: “Well, he is happy to do too much. He is that kind of a player and he wants to take that responsibility. The power he brings in the matches, is the game-changing ability he brings to the table. I do not want to get into how the games have gone, it is about looking ahead. So, we have to accept what has happened and then look ahead, the focus is on how we can bring out the best in us in the remaining games.”

Earlier, Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond had said that the franchise is also looking at the needs of Team India while managing the workload of all-rounder Hardik.

“Hardik is training well. He trained today (Thursday) and he is getting closer to playing. We are balancing the needs of our team along with the needs of Team India as well. This franchise looks after its players. We are hopeful that Hardik will be back for the next match, he trained well on Thursday,” said Bond during a post-match virtual press conference.

Mumbai Indians is currently at the sixth position in the IPL standings and the side will next lock horns against RCB on Sunday at the Dubai International Stadium.