Hardik Pandya, who played a great knock of 76-ball 90, has insisted that the process is going on with respect to his bowling return, but he can’t exactly pinpoint the exact date of his return. He added that he has been bowling in the nets, but he is still not physically confident to do it in games.
Although Hardik Pandya recovered from his back injury which he sustained last year against West Indies, he has still not resumed bowling in the matches as a precautionary measure. However, this has affected the balance of the Indian team which was evident in the first ODI against Australia, where skipper Virat Kohli failed to find the sixth bowler when his bowling specialists struggled against mighty Australians.
Junior Pandya, who top-scored with 90 off 76, insisted that he working on making his bowling return but he is still uncertain as to when that will happen. He revealed that he has been bowling in the nets but he is still not confident physically or skills-wise to do the same in the international arena.
"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,” Hardik said as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
"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."
With Pandya not bowling, Ravindra Jadeja remains the only two-dimensional player in the ODI squad in Australia, but he played as the fifth bowler, which meant that all the bowlers had to do well as they didn’t have anyone to back them up. This resulted in Australia scoring a humongous target of 375 against ‘rusty’ Indian bowling.
Stressing on the importance of having an extra bowler, Pandya stated that India needs to groom someone promising even if there was no natural allrounder coming through.
"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 allrounder which I wanted to be. But with time I groomed myself and became that bowling option. I worked on my bowling,” he said.
"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."