Hardik Pandya not playing: The star all-rounder from Mumbai Indians is among their two main absentees for the first match of IPL 2021 Phase 2.
During the 30th match of the ongoing 14th season of the Indian Premier League between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians in Dubai, Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has won the toss and chose to bat.
“We will bat first, looks like a good wicket. Setting a target will be a better option. It’s the same for everyone. I can’t say if it’s a good break or not. Once tournament starts, you get into some sort of rhythm but this season it’s new and maybe us cricketers will start loving it.
“Seven games, then a break, and seven more. It comes down to how you play on that day in the shortest form. We’ll try to do the basics right and focus on the process,” Dhoni told Star Sports at the toss.
As mentioned before, Super Kings will take the field without all-rounder Sam Curran in this match. Hence, their four overseas players for the first match of the second phase are South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis, England all-rounder Moeen Ali, West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood.
Why is Hardik Pandya not playing vs Chennai Super Kings?
When Kieron Pollard came out to lead Mumbai Indians, it was confirmed that regular captain Rohit Sharma will be missing this match. In addition to that, Pollard announced that all-rounder Hardik Pandya will also not be playing today.
It was before the start of the match that Sharma appeared to be taking a fitness test. Readers must note that him not playing today appears to be more of a precautionary measure. On the other hand, it remains unclear why Pandya isn’t playing this match.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) September 19, 2021
“We weren’t so sure, so happy that I lost the toss. Rohit [Sharma] is okay, he’ll be fine sooner rather than later, I’m just the captain for today. We started a couple of months back. Rohit misses out, Hardik [Pandya] is not playing as well. Anmolpreet [Singh] makes his debut, that’s about it, all others are regular players,” Pollard told Star Sports at the toss.
While Sharma has been replaced by debutant Anmolpreet Singh, Saurabh Tiwary has got an opportunity in place of Pandya. In 31 IPL matches for Indians over the years, Tiwary has scored 613 runs at an average and strike rate of 26.65 and 132.11 respectively including four half-centuries.