IPL 2021: Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya doubtful for MI vs KKR, says Trent Boult
- Rohit and Hardik missed MI’s game vs CSK on Sunday
- CSK defeated MI by 20 runs in Dubai
- Pollard led MI in the absence of Rohit against CSK
Mumbai Indians (MI) fast bowler Trent Boult said on Wednesday that he is not sure if Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya would play their next Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 game on Thursday but said the duo is recovering well.
MI took on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday when the second phase of the IPL 2021 went underway in the UAE. In the absence of Rohit, who is suffering a knee injury, Kieron Pollard captained MI. The reigning champions lost the match by 20 runs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
While Pollard and head coach Mahela Jayawardene said that Rohit was rested as a precaution, there has not been much clarity over the fitness of Pandya, who missed the CSK game due to a niggle.
"They are both recovering very well. In terms of their selection for the next game, I'm not too sure what's going on there. But day by day, they are improving," Boult said during a virtual press conference on the eve of their game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
"They are obviously two vital players in the XI for Mumbai. And we're desperate to get them back. So, fingers crossed that they'll be pretty good to go over the next couple of games," Boult said on the eve of MI's clash with KKR in Abu Dhabi.
Young Anmolpreet Singh opened for MI in the absence of their incumbent captain but failed to deliver as he got out for a mere 16. The BlackCaps pacer went on to insist that Rohit was "sorely missed" in the game against CSK but defended the team management's decision to rest the star opener.
"He is right up there in terms of experience and runs achieved in this format. So, it was a big hole but it was a good decision to make sure he is 100 per cent with the amount of cricket coming up. If he comes to the eleven, it will be brilliant, but we want to make sure he is 100 percent fit," Boult added.
Having won in 22 out of their 28 previous meetings, MI have a fantastic record against KKR in the IPL. However, Boult believes that past records do not matter in the shortest format of the game.
"It is more about starting afresh, every game is such a big game, every match is important now. History is history, it is nice to have previous results against them, but they are a quality side and we would not take them lightly," the left-arm pacer said.
The New Zealand fast bowler went on to also mention that the IPL was a good preparation ahead of the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in the UAE and Oman between October and November.
"You could probably not have any better build-up to the tournament like the T20 World Cup. The focus is on what's on for the next couple of weeks, but in terms of preparation, it is very good. Conditions can change quite quickly but having to deal with the heat and humidity is a big challenge at this stage. It is going to be interesting to see how conditions move over the course of the next few weeks," said Boult.