India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has recently returned to the action with the ball is all set to take part for Mumbai Indians for the upcoming Indian Premier League. However, the pace-bowling all-rounder sustained an injury in his back and had to undergo surgery as well. Since then, he has been playing as a batsman only, including the 2020 edition of the IPL in the UAE as well.
Although he rolled his arm over in a couple of T20Is in Australia, he recently started bowling in long spells where he bowled against England in the T20Is and ODIs at home as well. However, his pace is reduced, even though he seems to have worked on a few variations in between. However, his Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond, believes Hardik Pandya has lost nothing as an all-rounder.
"It's natural that you will lose a bit of top-end consistent pace after a back injury, but what is important is that he hasn't lost his aggressive approach. He can use the bouncer too, has the skills to swing the ball and can still work up a good pace," Bond said to TOI on Friday. "When you have a surgery, you are likely to get aches and pains in other parts of the body and that's what happened to Hardik last year during IPL. We did not want him to pick up another injury because he is too valuable as a batsman. Our aim was to get him back in the process of returning as an all-rounder for India and he is coming to this IPL having done so against England."
Meanwhile, Hardik has been in great form with the bat and the coach said that his superb batting has made him enjoy bowling more. He also said that Hardik can still do both equally well, but it's his batting that took the pressure off his bowling as well. However, former New Zealand player also said that despite his stunning show, it is important to manage his workload as well.
However, while talking about his expectations from Hardik Pandya in the upcoming IPL, the bowling coach has revealed that the all-rounder is part of a group and it is all about going there and supporting each other as well. "Last year we used (Kieron) Pollard as the sixth bowler because Hardik was injured. Now we have the best 5, 6 and 7 in the tournament in the form of Pollard, Hardik and Krunal," Bond concluded.
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