Will Hardik Pandya play in India vs Sri Lanka 3rd ODI? Bhuvneshwar gives important update on all-rounder's fitness
- India vs Sri Lanka 3rd ODI: India vice-captain for the Sri Lanka tour, Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave an update about Hardik Pandya's fitness which is sure to bring smiles on the faces of millions of Indian faces.
The Indian fans held their breath when Hardik Pandya grimaced in pain while holding his lower back not once but twice during the second ODI against Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. He only bowled 4 overs for 20 runs on Tuesday, raising doubts about his availability for the third and final ODI on Friday. India vice-captain for the Sri Lanka tour, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, however, gave an update about Hardik’s fitness which is sure to bring smiles on the faces of millions of Indian faces.
Bhuvneshwar ruled out any concerns over Hardik Pandya's fitness.
"...As much as I know, there is no niggle or concern. So, I'm sure he's fine," he said after India’s 3-wicket victory that helped them take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Hardik Pandya’s bowling fitness has been a real cause of concern for India. The all-rounder did not bowl at all in the Australia tour and played only as a batsman. He did bowl in the home series against England but not in every match.
The matters got complicated further when Hardik did not bowl a single over for Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2021 before the tournament was postponed till September due to a virus outbreak.
Hardik returned to bowling in the current ODI series against Sri Lanka. He has so far bowled 9 overs in the two ODIs, which is a lot less that what India would like him to be bowling in an ODI match but perhaps the weather and pitch conditions has a lot to do with that.
“After a long time, we’ve got a seam-bowling all-rounder who balances the side. We don’t have fast bowlers who can bat well. Even at the Test level, our fast bowlers are not big-time contributors with the bat but Hardik can do that. And he can get runs in lightning quick time. He can destroy the opposition. If Hardik is fully fit, he becomes a tremendous asset to the team,” said Laxman Sivaramakrishnan in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times.
“It is important for him to regain full fitness and then when he starts to bowl, he will gain more confidence. Hardik can contribute to all three departments of the game. Every time he contributes, he will become a better cricketer both technically and mentally. The key for India’s success in white-ball cricket will be the fitness of Hardik Pandya and if he can play to his potential then it will be awesome,” he added.