Hardik Pandya has shown on multiple occasions this IPL 2020 season that he can be a destructive finisher for the Mumbai Indians. In Qualifier 1, his blistering knock of 37 off just 14 balls proved to be instrumental in MI reaching the 200-run mark. However, he has not contributed with the ball for Rohit Sharma's side this season.
Hardik suffered a back injury last year and was sidelined for quite a while. MI skipper Rohit Sharma said that while the 27-year-old has recovered from his back injury, he is still not comfortable to bowl. Thus MI would not like to risk an injury by bowling him in the all-important IPL 2020 final.
"We’ve assessed him after every 3-4 games. We’ve spoken to him about what he wants to do. He’s not comfortable at the moment to bowl. We’ve left the decision to him. If he feels comfortable, he will be happy to bowl. At the moment, he’s not feeling comfortable,” Rohit Sharma explained in the pre-match press conference.
Hardik Pandya's batting has been key for our run to the IPL 2020 final: Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma further stressed that the MI team management respects the decisions of all its players. They do not force anyone to do something they are not comfortable doing. The skipper also explained how Hardik has been crucial in MI reaching the final and he is happy to play him as a pure batsman. Rohit finished by stating that he is confident about Hardik Pandiya's ability to make a telling contribution in Tuesday's IPL 2020 final.
“He’s got some niggles going. It would have been great to have him bowl. Throughout this season we have given him that cushion of being in that comfort zone and making sure that he takes care of his body and he has done that really well,” Rohit said.
“We don’t want to put that pressure on an individual where we expect something from him that he can't do and the team morale goes down. We don’t want that situation. Hardik is a very important player for us. His batting has been key for us making it to the IPL 2020 final. As long as he bats, I am happy,” he further added.
MI will play the Delhi Capitals in the final of IPL 2020 to be on November 10 in Dubai. MI will be aiming to win their fifth IPL title, while a DC win could see the crowning of a new champion.Published 10 Nov 2020, 12:54 IST