IPL 2021: MI bowling coach Shane Bond details the changes in Hardik Pandya’s bowling action

Pandya charged in with a tweaked action during the white-ball series against England.

Hardik Pandya | GettyBack injuries can be career-threatening and India all-rounder Hardik Pandya certainly knows a thing or two about it.

Pandya picked up the back injury for the first time during the 2018 Asia Cup. At the time, he didn’t undergo surgery and continued playing competitive cricket till the World Cup 2019, only for the injury to resurface.

In October 2019, Hardik underwent surgery to treat his lower back issue. After a lengthy hiatus caused by COVID-19 pandemic, he returned to cricket in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 for Mumbai Indians (MI) but did not bowl throughout the tournament.

See Also: “Hardik Pandya seems like a proper batsman to me now," says Aakash Chopra

His next assignment was the white-ball series in Australia, where Pandya bowled only four overs (in the 2nd ODI) despite playing all six games while he bowled a bit more against England in the T20Is and ODIs at home.

Even though he is not bowling as regularly as before, Mumbai Indians (MI) bowling coach Shane Bond reckons Hardik has lost nothing 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 the bouncer too, has the skills to swing the ball and can still work up a good pace," Bond told TOI in an exclusive chat.

"When you have a 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," he added.

Pandya charged in with a tweaked action during the white-ball series against England and Bond discussed the changes.

“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,” he said.

According to Bond, Hardik Pandya is a quality operator in the white-ball formats and thus it is imperative to manage his workload.

"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. Ben Stokes, too, is doing the same," he remarked.

Talking about his expectations from Hardik in the upcoming IPL, Bond said: "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."


By Salman Anjum - 03 Apr, 2021

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