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IPL 2019: Hardik Pandya joins Mumbai Indians pre-season camp

The Indian all-rounder was recently ruled out of the T20I and the ODI series against Australia.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya celebrates a wicket. (Photo by IANS)

With just over two weeks remaining before the next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) gets underway, Hardik Pandya has given Mumbai Indians a big boost. The Indian all-rounder was recently ruled out of the T20I and the ODI series against Australia after suffering a back injury following the tour of New Zealand where he had played the last three ODIs and the subsequent T20Is after returning from suspension.

Pandya, who had suffered a serious back injury during last year’s Asia Cup, had joined the national team for the Test series in Australia but was sent back to India along with KL Rahul in the wake of the Koffee with Karan controversy.  He was soon suspended before the Committee of Administrators allowed him and Rahul to return to action pending the appointment of an ombudsman. Recently, justice DK Jain was appointed the BCCI ombudsman and he will take the final call on the case.

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But controversies aside, Pandya will be looking to hit the ground running in the IPL after missing a major part of the action this year. He is a certainty in India’s World Cup squad and will be keen to hit the top gear. The Baroda star resumed training Tuesday at the pre-season camp of Mumbai Indians. He was accompanied by his elder brother Krunal at the Reliance Corporate Park cricket ground in Ghansoli.

An official was reported as saying that Hardik did ‘strength endurance training’ but did not reveal more details. Apart from Pandya brothers, the likes of Jayant Yadav, Rahul Chahar, Barinder Sran, Rasikh Salam, Mitchell McClenaghan and Ishan Kishan were also attending the camp. The players are reportedly set to move to Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai from March 17.

Mumbai Indians eye strong show:

Despite being the defending champions last year, Mumbai Indians had fared poorly. They had managed to win just two of their opening seven games and were all but out of the playoffs race at the halfway stage of the tournament. They did well to win four of the remaining seven games but eventually finished fifth.

One of the most successful teams in the history of the league, the three-time IPL champions will be looking to bounce back this season. The Mumbai-based franchise will open their campaign against Delhi Capitals on March 24 at the Wankhede stadium.

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