Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene has revealed that star all-rounder Hardik Pandya is looking very sharp in the nets returning back from injury. He also added that the Pandya brothers have been wonderful for the Mumbai-based franchise and bring lot of energy to the defending champions.
Mumbai Indians star all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who last appeared in an international game close to a year before, will be making a return from injury to high- intensity cricket in IPL after he underwent back surgery for a stress fracture in 2019. The 2020 IPL commences from September 19 with defending champions MI taking on the MS-Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings in the opening encounter.
Talking about Hardik, Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene stressed that the franchise needs to take care of him as he is returning from injury though he is looking 'good' in the nets. The former Sri Lankan skipper also revealed that MI are looking to try out different finishers and will see what role the younger Pandya brother plays for the side in the 13th edition of the IPL.
"Hardik is coming back from an injury. So we will have to be mindful of that but he is looking very good in the nets. Both the players (Pandya brothers) have been fantastic for MI over the last three or four years. It brings a lot of energy to the group.
"We have used him (Hardik) in different roles in the past and we will look into that. We will have quite a number of other players who can fix into that role as well, so whenever the opportunity is there we ask anyone to finish the game off," Jayawardene said during MI's virtual media conference, reported TOI.
Jayawardene also disclosed that Jasprit Bumrah has worked really hard on himself during the extended lockdown phase and is looking very sharp in lead up to the cash-rich league.
"Boom (Bumrah's nickname) has been training really hard during the quarantine period because of Indian commitments (which got postponed). He has had a lot of bowling done back home as well, trying to keep up the load, because following the IPL, there will probably a Test series (Australia) for the Indian boys."
"For IPL, he looks quite sharp and Bumrah being very professional, he has looked after himself very, very well during that quarantine period and he is quite eager to go out and perform," Jayawardene concluded.