IPL 2021: Zaheer Khan offers crucial Quinton de Kock, Hardik Pandya updates ahead of KKR vs MI
Quinton de Kock will be available for selection for Mumbai Indians’ next Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 game that is against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Tuesday.
Quinton de Kock will be available for selection for Mumbai Indians' next Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 game that is against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Tuesday. Director of Cricket of Mumbai Indians (MI) Zaheer Khan confirmed the news on Monday.
MI and KKR will face off at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. While KKR are coming off a 10-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), MI lost their opening game to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by two wickets.
On the eve of MI's second game in the IPL 2021, Zaheer confirmed that South Africa's de Kock is out of quarantine and has already undergone a net session.
"Quinton is out of his quarantine. He did his practice session yesterday with the team, [he's] looking forward to the season. So yes, he's available for tomorrow's game," Zaheer said in an interview on Monday.
In the absence of de Kock, Australia's explosive batsman Chris Lynn opened MI's innings along with Rohit Sharma in their campaign opener against RCB last week. While Rohit got out early for 15-ball 19, Lynn was impressive on his MI debut, scoring 49 off 35 balls. His knock included four fours and three sixes.
De Kock was among the two MI batsmen who scored 500 or more runs last season in the UAE. While Ishan Kishan top-scored for Mumbai with 516 runs in 14 innings, de Kock scored 503 runs in 16 innings, including four half-centuries. He scored the runs at an average of 35.92 and a strike rate of 140.40.
Meanwhile, in the same interview, Zaheer also said that Hardik Pandya did not bowl against RCB because of his workload management. While he also added that Kieron Pollard will be the five-time champions' sixth bowling option.
Hardik suffered a lower-back injury a couple of years ago and since then, he has not bowled regularly, for any of the teams he has played for (Team India, Mumbai Indians and Baroda).
Also, Hardik was also seen returning the ball from the deep with under-arm throws while fielding in their game against RCB. To which, Zaheer revealed it was because of a "shoulder concern," before adding that "you will very soon see" Hardik bowl.
"Hardik as a whole package is of great value. It was a workload related thing in the previous game [that he didn't bowl]. He bowled in the India-England series, in the last ODI he bowled about nine overs, and that's why in consultation with the physios, we had to take that approach.
There was a little bit of a shoulder concern. I don't think it's worrisome, you will very soon see him bowl. For the timelines, you'll have to ask the physio but in terms of Hardik the bowler coming in this tournament, we are very confident that he will be chipping in," explained Zaheer.
"Pollard is our sixth bowling option. He's an experienced campaigner here so he's definitely going to be our sixth bowling option. And whenever Hardik is available, he's going to be a bowling option as well. We're not very concerned in that department. You have to adapt and adjust. This year it's a different format so we'll look to have that flexibility around because of not being able to play in the home ground," the former Indian pacer added ahead of KKR vs MI.