Hardik Pandya is set to play his first international game since the 20-20 World Cup 2021. Pandya was dropped from the team due to his injury concerns. For the unversed, the all-rounder was injured even before the event but was still included in the team. The injuries impacted his batting and he couldn’t bowl as well. Meanwhile, he was named in the Indian squad for the five-match T20I series against South Africa last month.
Leading up to the first game, the 28-year-old was seen bowling in an open net session. Not to forget, he bowled on a few occasions in the Indian T20 League 2022 when he led winners Gujarat. The right-arm medium-pacer took three crucial wickets in the final against Rajasthan to derail their innings. Meanwhile, in an interaction with the media, head coach Rahul Dravid spoke about the depth the Gujarat player brings to the team.
Dravid added the team will try to ensure they bring the best out of the Choryasi-born either as a bowler or as a batter.
“You know what that does to us (Hardik’s inclusion), what depth it brings to the side. So, for us really, it would be about ensuring we get the best out of him as a cricketer, in terms of his bowling, in terms of his batting,” head coach Rahul Dravid raved about Hardik’s quality in a press conference on Tuesday.
Watch the video here
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 7, 2022
— Subhayan Chakraborty (@CricSubhayan) June 7, 2022
Pandya has had a tough time with his injuries since 2019. At that time, he went through a back surgery, which kept him out of the game for several months. The COVID19 pandemic in 2020 gave him some extra time to recover as the world went into a lockdown. In that year, he played as a pure batter for his former Indian T20 League side Mumbai. He started bowling in early 2021 in the T20I series against England, only stop doing the same in the Indian T20 League 2021. The reason being his shoulder niggle. Thus, it will be exciting to watch him bowl this time around.