Hardik Didn’t Bowl Against RCB Due to Workload Management: Zaheer
Zaheer explained that the captain’s options aren’t limited with Hardik’s workload being managed.
When defending champions Mumbai Indians lost off the final delivery against Royal Challengers Bangalore on the opening day of IPL 2021, one of the things that experts picked up on was Hardik Pandya not bowling.
Hardik, who has started bowling only recently after a back injury kept him out for a while, is one of the players whose workload management has been well monitored by the Indian team. Hardik bowled 17 overs during the five-match T20I series against England and was only called to bowl in the final ODI where he sent down nine overs.
Even MI are cautious about how they manage the all-rounder.
"Hardik, as a whole package, is always of great value," MI's Director of Cricket operations, Zaheer Khan, said.
"It was a workload related thing in the previous game. He bowled nine overs in the England series. In consultation with the physio, we had to take that approach. There was a little bit of a shoulder concern but it is not worrisome. You will see him bowl very soon. The timeline you will have to ask the physio. In terms of Hardik the bowler coming in this tournament, we are confident that he will be chipping in with the ball in his hand as well."
Zaheer also explained that the captain’s options aren’t limited with Hardik’s workload being managed.
"Pollard is our sixth bowling option," he pointed out. "He is consistent, he is an experienced campaigner.
"Whenever Hardik is available, he will start bowling, he will be our bowling option as well. In that department, we are not very concerned. You have to just adapt and adjust. This year's format is a different format. So from that point of view, we need to have that adaptability and flexibility around the squad as well, with not playing in your home grounds, which is what we accept and plan accordingly for the season ahead."
Zaheer also spoke about Marco Jansen, the young South African pacer, saying that the team was very happy with him.
"We are very excited with Marco as well. When you see a youngster like Marco going out there and making an impact. We have all been there, in our first games, it is a big occasion. Now he has managed to relax because he made a good comeback in that game."
For MI, they go into the KKR game with South African Quinton de Kock available, having finished quarantine.
Apart from the clash against KKR, MI have three more matches in Chennai - against Delhi Capitals, Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals - before they move their base to Delhi for four more games.
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