MI cautious of Hardik’s workload

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Apr 13 2021
Sports MI cautious of Hardik’s workload

As Mumbai Indians went down on the final ball against Royal Challengers Bangalore, there was a feeling that Rohit Sharma had his hands tied to an extent with just five bowling options. Trent Boult and Rahul Chahar were expensive, but the other bowlers managed to drag things till the very end.

Chris Lynn felt more than a tactical error - where Rohit didn't use either Hardik Pandya or Kieron Pollard - it was more about the execution errors that cost them the game. Hardik's bowling workload has been on India's agenda for a while after his return from back surgery. 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. Now 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, however, also clarified that Rohit isn't going in with limited options into the game. "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."

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Apr 13 2021

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