Hardik is coming into the IPL as an all-rounder: Shane Bond
After recovering from a back injury last year, Hardik Pandya came right into the game with the bat, both in the IPL and later for the Indian cricket team against Australia and more recently with the ball as well against England.
Despite Pandya’s pace dropping a little since his comeback, Mumbai Indians’ bowling coach Shane Bond opines that Hardik is ready to roar as an all-rounder in the upcoming IPL season, in an interview with The Times of India.
“Aim was to have Hardik back as an all-rounder”
“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.”
“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 all-rounder for India and he is coming to this IPL having done so against England.”
Bond’s changes to Hardik’s bowling
Bond spoke about his inputs to help Hardik better himself as a bowler. “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.”
Hardik and managing workload
The former New Zealand quick said that while Hardik brought quality to the team in the white-ball formats of the game, 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.”
“We have the best 5,6 & 7: Pollard, Hardik, Krunal”
The Kiwi further spoke about what his expectations were 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.”
He also added that he hopes Hardik will deliver later this year in the T20I World Cup.