In potentially encouraging news for India ahead of their do-or-die match against New Zealand in the ICC T20 World Cup ‘Super 12’ game on October 31, all-rounder Hardik Pandya was seen rolling his arm over in the nets on Friday morning, suggesting he could return to bowling duties against the Kane Williamson-led side.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) released short footage of India’s nets practise, in which the 28-year-old was seen rolling his arm over and throwing down at least half-a-dozen deliveries while not bowling at full velocity.
Pandya’s bowling has taken a back seat since he underwent back surgery in 2018. In fact, during his Indian Premier League (IPL) duties in the Dubai leg, he has only played as a batter.
During India’s tour of Sri Lanka in July, he bowled 16 overs in three ODIs and a T20I, gradually increasing his workload. In the second part of the Indian Premier League season in Dubai, he did not bowl at all for the Mumbai Indians.
Pandya did not bowl in India’s 10-wicket loss to Pakistan in the tournament opener, but he remained off the field for the whole innings after injuring his shoulder while batting.
Captain Virat Kohli claimed ahead of India’s first game against Pakistan that Pandya was on track to bowl in the tournament.
“I honestly feel that Hardik Pandya presently with his physical condition is getting better in terms of being prepared to bowl at least two overs for us at a certain stage in this tournament,” Kohli said.
While every Cricket enthusiast has many hopes from Hardik Pandya’s back bowling in the upcoming match, taking to micro-blogging platform ‘koo’ Akash Chopra a former Indian cricketer and a cricket analyst went further and said, “While Hardik bowling is great news, it’s important that he gets his batting form back…India needs his batting more than his bowling”.
India next match is with New Zealand on October 31, both the teams are desperate for points after each losing their first fixture against Pakistan.
(With IANS inputs)