Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene has said that the team is trying to do what’s in the best interest of Hardik Pandya as they are wary of pushing Hardik to bowl. The Indian allrounder has not bowled a single over in IPL 2021, citing his niggles that occurred during the tournament.
Hardik Pandya was expected to bowl before the first leg of the IPL 2021 as he bowled a few overs in the white-ball series against England in India earlier this year. The 27-year-old has not bowled even in the second leg of the tournament which has increased concerns for the Indian team ahead of the T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman. Earlier, India's chief selector Chetan Sharma had stated that Hardik will bowl his full quota of four overs in the ICC event which begins on October 17.
Mahela Jayawardene, speaking to the press ahead of their must-win match against Delhi Capitals on Saturday, October 2 hinted Hardik might not be bowling for Mumbai Indians for the remainder of the season.
"We're trying to do what's best for Hardik, going forward. Whether he can bowl or not in the IPL is something we will have to look at," Jayawardene said.
"At the moment, if we push too hard (to bowl), he might be an issue where he might even struggle and might not be an asset as a batsman," he added.
Hardik has not yet delivered what he is known for in IPL 2021. The Mumbai Indians allrounder could only manage 95 runs in 9 matches at an average of 13.57. Hardik showed glimpses of regaining his form with the bat during Mumbai's win over Punjab Kings earlier this week. He hit a 30-ball 40 not out, striking two sixes and four boundaries in their successful run chase of 136.