Kolkata: The return of Hardik Pandya the bowler will add more variation in the arsenal of champions Mumbai Indians in the upcoming IPL but his workload management will be the key, according to their bowling coach Shane Bond.
“It’s natural that you will lose a bit of top-end consistent pace after a back injury, but what is important is that he hasn’t lost his aggressive approach. He can use his bouncer too, has the skills to swing the ball and can still work up a good pace,” the former Kiwi pace ace said as the teams got into their swing of things for the 14th edition of the league.
Speaking to the Mumbai Indians website on Pandya getting back to the allrounder mode again, Bond said: “When you have surgery, you are likely to get aches and pains in other parts of the body and that’s what happened to Hardik last year during IPL. We did not want him to pick up another injury as he is too valuable as a batsman.”
“Our aim was to get him back in the process of returning as an allrounder for India and he is coming to this IPL having done so against England.”
What kind if inputs did Bond give in terms of his bowling action? “There was a point when I felt he was diving into the crease a little bit too much. He was also mindful of that and got the alignment straight and it worked.”
While Hardik brought quality to the Indian team in the white ball formats of the game, Bond observed that his workload management is very important. “I understand that he is a brilliant fourth-pacer option batting at No. 7 in Tests, but I would think he is better off bowling 10 overs a day even when he is playing red ball cricket, instead of 15-16.”
The Kiwi also spoke about his expectations from Hardik for the upcoming IPL season. “Last year, we used Kieron Pollard as the sixth bowler because Hardik was injured. Now we have the best 5,6 and 7 in the tournament in the form of Pollard, Hardik and Krunal.”