IPL 2021: Zaheer Khan provides Hardik Pandya update ahead of MI vs RCB
- Hardik Pandya is yet to play in the second phase of IPL 2021
- MI recently lost to CSK and KKR
- MI take on RCB in Dubai on Sunday (Sept. 26)
Zaheer Khan, the director of cricket operations at Mumbai Indians (MI) said on Saturday that Hardik Pandya has started practice and could feature in their upcoming game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in Dubai.
MI are yet to register a win in the second phase of the IPL 2021, having lost to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). While MI were without Hardik and Rohit Sharma against CSK, captain Rohit returned to the XI against KKR.
"Well, we have a practice session lined up today and we will see how it goes and then we will take a call. He has started practicing, that is what I can share with you guys, we hope that he will be fit and fine available for the clash against RCB," Zaheer said during a virtual pre-match press conference.
Earlier, MI's bowling coach Shane Bond said that the franchise is balancing its need along with that of the Indian national team to ensure there is not much workload on players ahead of the T20 World Cup. The ICC event is scheduled to take place in Oman and the UAE from Oct. 17 to Nov. 14.
Speaking of Kieron Pollard, Zaheer said that the West Indies all-rounder is happy to take the extra responsibility in the middle-order. "He is that kind of a player and he wants to take that responsibility. The power he brings in the matches is the game-changing ability he brings to the table. I do not want to get into how the games have gone, it is about looking ahead," the former India pacer further added.
"So, we have to accept what has happened and then look ahead, the focus is on how we can bring out the best in us in the remaining games," Zaheer said.
With four wins and five losses in nine matches, the reigning champions MI are currently placed sixth in the IPL 2021 points table, with only Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) below them.