CHENNAI: Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene on Monday revealed Hardik Pandya picked up a niggle during the ODI series between India and England which has kept the all-rounder away from bowling in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). Hardik has in recent times stuck to playing as a finisher both in the national team and Mumbai Indians.
Jayawardene wants Hardik to recover fully from the niggle before taking on the batsmen with ball in hand. “We were looking forward to him bowling this season as he didn’t bowl in last year’s IPL after coming from an injury and he wasn’t ready. In his last ODI match against England, I believe Hardik picked up a niggle so we don’t want to risk an injury,” Jayawardene explained.
“We want to be sure that he is comfortable in bowling so hopefully in the next few weeks with a bit of work and all that you might see him bowling, we would love to see him bowling but as soon as the niggle goes off and he is comfortable in bowling we could utilise that asset as well,” he added.
In the games, where Mumbai Indians pulled off victories from losing positions, spinner Rahul Chahar played a key role. He might have gone for 43 runs in his first match but the spinner returned with seven wickets in the next two.
“Rahul Chahar has been performing well for us for the last 3 years. He is still a young player and is constantly learning. We are very happy with his progress,” said Jayawardene.
Mumbai Indians will next lock horns with Delhi Capitals at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai on Tuesday.