I hope Hardik Pandya plays some cricket before the IPL, says Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond

I hope Hardik Pandya plays some cricket before the IPL, says Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond

Hardik Pandya has been away from the game since September 2019.

Hardik Pandya and Shane Bond
Hardik Pandya and Shane Bond. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Hardik Pandya’s prolonged absence from the ground has not only made the national team management and supporters anxious but also his IPL franchise Mumbai Indians (MI). The ace all-rounder is a mega asset for the defending champions of the Indian Premier League (IPL) but is yet to get fit to make a comeback. The 26-year-old was set to return to the national team in the ongoing tour of New Zealand but did not eventually.

With the IPL 2020 scheduled to begin on March 29, Mumbai are feeling restless to know when Hardik will be back into shape. MI’s bowling coach Shane Bond, a former fast bowler from New Zealand, wants the all-rounder to play a few games before the IPL begins. He will go to Mumbai to meet the franchise people where Hardik’s fitness issue will come up for talks.

IPL will be nice for him to make a comeback – Bond

Shane Bond though before his visit to Mumbai said that he is confident that Hardik Pandya will return stronger. The cricketer, who is recovering from a back injury, last played in the T20I series against South Africa at home in September 2019. He underwent a successful surgery in the UK in October.

“I only hope he gets to play some cricket before the IPL and always believe it’s better to spend a little bit longer for coming back rather than rushing it. There’s no doubt he can come back. I am just pleased that they are taking an orthodox approach with Hardik’s rehabilitation and T20s, especially the IPL will be nice for him to comeback as he will not be over-bowled,” Bond was quoted as saying by Times Now.

Hardik Pandya underwent a net session at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru recently. He was seen facing throwdowns in the nets and played mainly with a straight bat. It is, however, not yet clear whether. He is expected to  make a comeback to cricket in the ODI series against South Africa next month or the IPL.

Hardik was to feature in the two-Test series against the Kiwis starting in Wellington on February 21 but he pulled himself out of the India ‘A’ side’s tour of NZ last month. Even the BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said that he was not even fit to take part in a domestic game.