Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond has recently explained the tweaks Hardik Pandya has made to his bowling action.
Hardik Pandya returned to bowling at full tilt during the India-England white-ball series. Although his workload was managed on occasions, Hardik Pandya ended up bowling 26 overs across the series, doing so with a changed bowling action post his back surgery.
“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,” said Bond.
Despite bowling with an altered action, Hardik Pandya had an impact with the ball against England.
The 27-year-old was at his wily best, using bouncers and varying his pace to outfox the batsman. Shane Bond admitted that the all-rounder has lost a bit of pace but was impressed with how Hardik Pandya has improved in other areas of his bowling.
"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,” explained Bond.
Will Hardik Pandya bowl in IPL 2021?
Hardik Pandya didn’t bowl in the IPL last year, as Mumbai Indians used him as a pure batsman. The move worked for the franchise, with Pandya scoring 281 runs at a blistering strike rate of 178.98.
The Mumbai Indians bowling coach has said that concerns over Hardik Pandya’s fitness prompted them not to use Pandya as a bowler.
“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,” said Bond.
Shane Bond was non-commital about whether Hardik Pandya would bowling in IPL 2021. But the Mumbai Indians bowling coach is excited that with Hardik Pandya in their ranks, they have the best lower order among all teams at IPL 2021.
"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,” concluded Bond.
With a T20 World Cup on the horizon, Hardik Pandya would benefit from bowling in the IPL. The 27-year-old is the only pace-bowling option at India’s disposal, so a strong IPL campaign could benefit him immensely.