Sunday, May 26, 2024

‘Something wrong with him…’: Doubts arise over Hardik Pandya’s fitness amid IPL bowling absence | Cricket News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Former New Zealand pace bowler Simon Doull has raised concerns about India all-rounder Hardik Pandya‘s fitness, suggesting that the Mumbai Indians skipper may be nursing an undisclosed injury.
Doull’s comments follow Pandya’s conspicuous absence from the bowling crease in recent IPL matches despite opening the bowling for Mumbai Indians in earlier games.
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Pandya’s bowling workload has significantly decreased in the IPL 2024 season, with him refraining from bowling in two consecutive matches after opening the bowling in the initial fixtures.During Mumbai Indians’ clash against Royal Challengers Bengaluru, Pandya bowled only a single over, conceding 13 runs before being withdrawn from the attack.

Expressing his suspicions, Doull remarked, “You go out and make a statement by opening the bowling in game no. 1, and suddenly, you are not required. He’s injured. I’m telling you there is something wrong with him. He is not admitting it. But there is something wrong with him for sure. That is my gut feeling,” during a discussion on Cricbuzz.
Pandya’s response to questions about his limited bowling contributions has further fueled speculation about his fitness status. While the Mumbai Indians skipper assured that he would bowl “at the right time,” he offered no further explanation for his reduced role on the bowling front.
The concerns over Pandya’s fitness are compounded by his recent history of injury woes, notably his ankle injury during the 2023 Cricket World Cup match against Bangladesh. With the T20 World Cup 2024 looming ahead, any potential injury setback for Pandya could have significant ramifications for the Indian cricket team.

Moreover, Pandya’s elevation to the captaincy role for Mumbai Indians in place of Rohit Sharma has been met with mixed reactions from fans, with some sections of the crowd expressing their discontent through booing during MI games. However, Virat Kohli intervened during Thursday’s match, urging the crowd to support Pandya instead.
As the IPL season progresses and the T20 World Cup draws nearer, all eyes will be on Hardik Pandya’s fitness and his ability to contribute effectively to both Mumbai Indians and the Indian cricket team.

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