Hardik Pandya has revealed that he doesn’t want to rush and bowl before achieving 100% bowling fitness as it might escalate the acute lower-back injury further.
India suffered the problem of not having an extra bowler or an all-rounder who could bowl a bit in Sydney, resulting in a very one-dimensional strategy. It backfired massively with Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal conceding 152 runs between themselves apart from the 83 runs given away by Navdeep Saini. The lack of options meant India had to stay rigid and it was then everyone understood the balance that Hardik Pandya used to provide with the ball.
The Baroda all-rounder did show his importance with a classy 90-run innings in the run-chase but the game was lost by then. On being asked about his injury and when could he start to bowl properly, Pandya suggested that he doesn’t want to disturb the process of his recovery but is ready to bowl in important games, like World Cups.
“It is a process. I am looking at a long-term goal where I want to be 100% of my bowling capacity for the most important games. The World Cups are coming. More crucial series are coming,” Pandya said in the post-match press conference.
“I am thinking as a long-term plan, not short-term where I exhaust myself and maybe have something else which is not there. So it is going to be a process, which I am following. I can’t tell you exactly when I am going to bowl but the process is going on. In the nets, I am bowling. It is just that I am not game-ready but I am still bowling. It is all about confidence and the skill has to be at an international level.”
With Virat Kohli speaking about the importance of having a batsman who could chip in with few overs, the mind automatically wanders back to the days when Kedar Jadhav, out of nowhere, emerged as a decent option. Hardik Pandya was always an all-rounder, but he became a dependable one much later in his career. The Baroda cricketer stated that India have to produce one in order to tackle bad days like yesterday.
“That has been the question always, right?. We have to find and maybe make. I have always believed that. Even when I came into the circuit, I was not always the allrounder which I wanted to be. But with time I groomed myself and became that bowling option. I worked on my bowling.
“Yeah, it is always going to be difficult when you go with five bowlers. When someone is having an off day you don’t have someone to fulfil [the quota]. More than injury, the sixth bowler’s role is when someone from the five bowlers is having a bad day, they come and fill those overs so the other guy gets more cushion. I think it is going to be… maybe we will have to make, maybe we will have to find someone who has already played India, and groom them and find a way to make them play.”