In this edition of the Indian Premier League, Hardik Pandya has played a key role with the bat so far, amassing 278 runs.
But the India international, who is featuring in his first high-profile tournament since the T20I series against South Africa in September last year, hasn’t bowled a single over, leading to questions on his fitness.
And ahead of the final against Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma indicated that Hardik wouldn’t bowl in the summit clash either.
“We have had his assessment every three-four games. We have spoken to him about what he wants to do and he is not comfortable at the moment to bowl. We have left the decision to him,” Rohit said on Monday.
“He has got some niggle going (issues). It would have been great to have him bowl but through out the season, we have given him that cushion of being in that comfort zone and making sure that he takes care of his body and he has done that really well,” Rohit said.
In the previous editions of the tournament, Hardik played a key role in the bowling department. And at the beginning of the tournament, Mumbai Indians’ cricket director Zaheer Khan had indicated that Hardik could resume bowling soon.
However, things haven’t looked quite bright. “We don’t want to put that pressure on individual where we are expecting something from him and he’s not being able to do it and the team morale goes down. We don’t want that situation. Hardik to us is very important as a player. His batting has been really key for us, leading to the final. As long as he bats, I am happy,” the captain said.
A genuine big-hitter, Hardik has proved his mettle with the willow, this time too, coming up with some fluent knocks – which played a key role in Mumbai Indians’ entry into the final.