All-rounder Hardik Pandya remains an important part of India’s plans for the forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup in England. But the Baroda cricketer is currently going through a phase of injury, having already ruled out from the upcoming limited overs series against Australia that starts on February 24.
Not only India but the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians (MI) will also suffer now it seems as Hardik’s participation in the tournament is in doubt.
According to the sources, a decision on Hardik Pandya’s participation in the IPL will be taken in the next three weeks. He will be at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru from next week and will undergo training and conditioning program to recover from his stiff back and then the final call will be taken.
“Too early to speak about that (IPL participation) at present. He has a stiff back and it is not like he is carrying any injury. After the three weeks of training at the NCA, he will once again undergo a fitness test and the decision on his participation in the T20 league will be taken then,” the BCCI official was quoted as saying to Hindustan Times.
Pandya went for a lengthy rehab after sustaining an injury in the 2018 Asia Cup and was drafted into the Indian team during the Australia tour in late December. The ‘Koffee with Karan controversy’ struck just as he was to be selected in the playing XI for the ODI series Down Under. While Pandya made his way back mid-way against New Zealand, the home series against Australia was being touted as a serious opportunity to hit peak form.
“If you realise, Baroda wasn’t playing a game for 16 days since the match against Mumbai from December 14. While it is true that he had played just one game since returning from injury, the team management thought that it was best to have him around the team to ensure that he is fully recovered by the time the ODI series gets underway on January 12. The level of training and prepping goes a level higher when you are with the national team and under the watchful eyes of the Indian trainers,” the BCCI official added.
While the kind of importance Pandya holds for MI in the IPL is known to all, the Rohit Sharma-led franchise would hope to have the player available in due time, with the 12th season scheduled to start from March 23.