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IPL 2021: Hardik Pandya getting closer to playing but Mumbai Indians won’t rush him back

New Delhi

Hardik Pandya’s absence from Mumbai Indians playing XI for the last two Indian Premier League (IPL) matches has raised questions on his fitness, because the star all-rounder is being picked by Indian selectors for the upcoming T20 World Cup to be held in UAE and Oman, later this year.

Pandya, who has hardly bowled ever since returning to action after back surgery last year, is yet to be featured within the Mumbai Indians squad thus far.

However, Mumbai Indians bowling coach on Thursday asserted that the all-rounder is training well and hopefully he is going to be back for the subsequent match. Mumbai Indians will face Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday.

“Look, Hardik is training well, like Rohit. he’s getting closer to playing. We are obviously balancing the needs of our team with the needs of Team India also,” Bond said at the post-match press conference when asked about Hardik’s status.

“The one thing that this franchise does very well is looked after its players with a watch on not only to try and win this competition but also on the T20 World Cup that’s following on,” said the former New Zealand speedster.

“We are hopeful that Hardik is back for the next match. As I said, he has trained today and trained pretty well by all counts.”

“We are obviously desperate to put him back out on the field. But like anything, you have to balance everything up, you have to also consider what the player wants,” he said.

“There’s also no point rushing him back to induce injured to miss the rest of the tournament after we may have an opportunity to win it.

“I think we do the right thing and hopeful (that) we’ll get him back shortly and he’ll have an effect on the back-end of the tournament and get us into the playoffs and hopefully win the tournament from there.”

Mumbai Indians suffered a seven-wicket loss to Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday in their IPL game. it absolutely was after their 20-run loss to Chennai Super Kings within the first game after resumption.

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