Sharjah: The BCCI will have to do some serious rethinking if they are to bolster India’s winning chances in the upcoming T20 World Cup. The squad have already been selected with Hardik Pandya included. The selectors are of the opinion that Hardik Pandya will fill the role of the all-rounder in the tournament. However, in the second phase of the ongoing IPL, Hardik has not bowled at all.
Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene said Friday the team is in no hurry to force Hardik into bowling in the IPL. This is because the all-rounder might ‘struggle’ if pushed hard, which could jeopardise his outing in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
After missing the first two games in the second leg of the tournament, Hardik played for MI purely as a batsman.
This has raised questions over his selection in India’s T20 World Cup squad. Chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma has said that Hardik is fully fit to bowl in the marquee event, starting October 17 in the UAE and Oman.
But Jayawardene feels otherwise. He said that the Mumbai franchise is in constant touch with the Indian team think tank regarding Hardik.
“He (Hardik) hasn’t bowled for a long period of time, so we are just trying to do the best for Hardik. We are in constant touch with the Indian team management on Hardik’s case,” Jayawardene said.
“Whether he will bowl in the IPL or not we will look on a daily basis. I feel at the moment if we push him too hard, he might struggle,” the former Sri Lankan captain added.
Ever since his return from a back surgery that he underwent in 2019, Hardik hasn’t been bowling as much as he used to. However, he had bowled regularly during the five-match T20 series against England in March earlier this year. But he didn’t bowl in the first leg of the IPL in India and continues to be unused in the UAE as well.