When will Mumbai Indians all-rounder bowl in IPL 2020: Mumbai coach Mahela Jayawardene opened up on their all-rounder fitness.
India and Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya was among the list of cricketers whom fans desperately wanted to see playing in the ongoing 13th season of the Indian Premier League.
Having last played competitive cricket during the home T20I series against South Africa in September 2019, Pandya had missed top-level cricket in the last one year.
Pandya, 26, had underwent a back surgery in England after being ruled out of the series against South Africa and Bangladesh in 2019. It is worth mentioning that it was during the Asia Cup of 2018 when Pandya first suffered a back injury.
Been out of the sport for five months, Pandya was named in India’s 15-member squad for a three-match home ODI series against South Africa earlier this year. The series was eventually postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in India.
When will Mumbai Indians all-rounder bowl in IPL 2020?
Pandya, who has batted in both Indians’ IPL 2020 matches so far, is yet to be handed the ball by captain Rohit Sharma. In 67 T20s for Mumbai before IPL 2020, Pandya had picked 42 wickets at an average of 31.26, an economy rate of 9.07 and a strike rate of 20.69.
A genuine all-rounder across formats, Pandya adds to the defending champions’ strength with his bowling ability. However, it is MI’s precautionary approach which hasn’t let the right-arm bowler bowl in the cash-rich league.
Speaking to the commentators during the ongoing IPL 2020 match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians, Mumbai head coach Mahela Jayawardene opened up on when Pandya will start bowling in this tournament.
“Don’t want to risk Hardik [Pandya] with the ball. We’ll take a call once he feels comfortable,” Jayawardene told the commentators.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) September 23, 2020
While Jayawardene didn’t mention a final date with respect to Pandya’s return to bowling, his commitment on the field in the first two matches hints at him resuming bowling in the next 3-4 matches or so.