One of the major talking points for Team India after the recently concluded white-ball series against England was Hardik Pandya’s return to the bowling department. Hardik, who was only contributing from the willow post his back surgery, was finally spotted bowling against the English team in the ODI leg.
Hardik also bowled a few overs in the T20I fixtures and overall delivered 26 overs across the series. The right-armer looked in fine touch with the ball, and many experts noticed a slight change in his bowling action.
Speaking about the same, Mumbai Indians (MI) bowling coach Shane Bond revealed how he made some modifications in Hardik’s action, which worked in his favour. Bond asserted that the 27-year-old was diving too much into the crease, which got changed by straightening his alignment.
“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 a little straight, and it worked,” Bond told Times of India.
Bond explained why the MI management did not allow Hardik to bowl in the previous season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Kiwi veteran said Hardik was still recovering from his injury, and they did not want him to sustain another damage. Bond said their main target was to get back Hardik in the process of contributing to the team as a proper all-rounder.
“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 because 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,” added the 45-year-old.
Bond further disclosed that Hardik would bowl for them in the fourteenth season of the cash-rich league.
“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,” Bond concluded.