When does Hardik Pandya aim to return for bowling?
First Published Nov 28, 2020, 11:36 AM IST
Hardik Pandya has made his comeback to competitive cricket since the just-concluded Indian Premier League. However, he is focusing only on his batting, barring himself from bowling, since he has just recovered from a back injury, for which he underwent a surgery in London last year.
Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has made a strong comeback to competitive cricket since the just-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL). However, what has changed since then is he has focused mostly on his batting, rather than his bowling.
Pandya was his an explosive form in the IPL, playing for Mumbai Indians (MI), as he scored the fifth-most runs for the side, with 281 from 13 innings at an average of 35.12, including a half-century. He continued with the same momentum in the opening ODI against Australia, in Sydney, where he scored a 76-ball 90, although in a losing effort.
Nonetheless, he has barred himself from the bowling of late. It is due to his recent recovery from a back injury, for which he had to undergo a surgery in London, last year. Nonetheless, Pandya feels that he could gradually get back to bowling in crucial and significant matches, including the World Cup, as he does not want his team to lag in the department.
"It is a process. I am looking at a long-term goal where I want to be 100% of my bowling capacity for the most important games. The World Cups are coming. More crucial series are coming. Whenever it is required," Pandya said after the first ODI.
"I am thinking as a long-term plan, not short term, where I exhaust myself and maybe, have something else [injury], which is not there. So, it is going to be a process, which I am following. I can't tell you exactly when I am going to bowl, but the process is on. In the nets, I am bowling. It is just that I am not game-ready, but I am bowling. It is all about confidence and the skill has to be at an international level," added Pandya.
Pandya also focused upon the point that India should start grooming, or even making and preparing, more all-rounders for the side. "That has been the question always, right? We have to find and maybe make… I have always believed that… even when I came into the circuit, I was not always the all-rounder, which I wanted to be. But, with time, I groomed myself and became that bowling option. I worked on my bowling," he stated.
"Yeah, it is always going to be difficult when you go with five bowlers. When someone is having an off day, you don't have someone to fulfil the quota. More than injury, the sixth bowler's role is when someone among the five bowlers is having a bad day. I think it is going to be… maybe, we will have to make, maybe, we will have to find someone who has already played India, and groom them and find a way to make them play," opined Pandya.
Furthermore, Indian skipper Virat Kohli blamed the bowlers for the loss on Friday, stating that picking up regular wickets is the ultimate key to win in such matches. "The key to winning games is picking up wickets. That is something we were not able to do. Also, lapses in the field were a reason why we couldn't capitalise on any kind of momentum, the pressure that we created in the early part of the innings," he wondered.
"Everyone needs to show the intent for the entire 50 overs. Probably, we played 50 overs after a long time. That could have an effect, but having said that we have played so much ODI cricket that it is not something we don't know how to do. I think the body language in the field wasn't great after around 25 overs. It was a disappointing part. If you don't take your chances against a top-quality opposition, they'll hurt you and that is what happened today," concluded Kohli.