IPL 2018: Rohit Sharma speaks about Hardik Pandya’s fitness ahead of MI's next game

Mumbai Indians play their next game against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad.

Hardik Pandya had twisted his ankle during the IPL opener against CSK | IANS

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma on Monday (April 9) said that the ace all-rounder Hardik Pandya looks fine and most probably would feature in their next clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday (April 12). Pandya had twisted his ankle during the tournament opener against Chennai Super Kings on Saturday.

The unfortunate injury had occurred in the final delivery of MI innings when Pandya was rushing back for a second run but twisted his ankle.

"He's looking good for now. He twisted his ankle but he came (back on the field) and bowled four overs. We still have three days (for the next match, against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 12). I think he will be fine," Rohit quoted as saying by PTI.

The defending IPL champions had suffered an agonizing 1-wicket defeat at the hands of CSK in the opening game. After being put into bat, Mumbai rode on Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav’s scintillating 78-run stand to overcome the early hiccups. While Kishan scored a fluent 29-ball 40, Suryakumar played a stunning knock of 29-ball 43. All-rounder Krunal Pandya (41 off 22 balls) provided the final flourish to the innings as MI posted a competitive total of 165/4 on the board in their 20 overs.

In reply, CSK never looked in control as they lost their top five for just 75 runs in 12 overs. However, West Indies’ ace all-rounder Dwayne Bravo change the course of the game with his blazing 30-ball 68 as Chennai chased down the target with one ball to spare.

Talking about the game, Rohit said his side was in the game till 17th over.

"Everyone saw what happened. There were certain things that we did not do right in the pressure situation. That's all. We were in the game till the 17th over. In the last three overs the game drifted away from us,” Sharma said.

"You cannot do much about it. At Wankhede it is always difficult to contain batsmen once they are set. With the dew and all those factors it is very hard for the bowlers, but that is not an excuse. I am just trying to say what exactly happened on that day and in that particular over," he elaborated.

The MI skipper also backed his premier pacer Jasprit Bumrah to come good in the next game. As per his high standards, Bumrah had a poor outing against the CSK as he was taken apart by Bravo in the 19th over.

"Bumrah is one of the highest rated Indian death bowlers. Anyone can have a bad day. Yes, of course (he will make a strong comeback). He is a very strong character. Games like this teaches you more as an individual and he has played enough now to understand how he needs to comeback from those situations. He also knows that there is a lot of pressure on him. He wants to take it up as a challenge. Games like this will happen but again, he will still be our best bowler," Rohit said.

Making his IPL debut, the 20-year-old Mayank Markande was the shining star for Mumbai as he scalped 3 wickets for 23 runs in his 4 overs. Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni and Deepak Chahar were the victims of Markande.

"He has got great control of whatever he does, so, I think going forward he will be a great weapon for us. You never know, he has got great skills and potentially he is good. It's just about going out there and doing what he is doing. For us, me and Mahela (Jayawardene), as captain and coach, we just have to be supporting this guy. He has got everything that he needs to be successful at the highest level," Rohit Sharma concluded.


By Salman Anjum - 10 Apr, 2018

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