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Dubai, Sep 24: Mumbai Indians’ bowling coach Shane Bond refused to give a deadline as to when all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be able to play a competitive match in the Indian Premier League here after missing out on the first two games.
The latest loss to Kolkata Knight Riders by seven wickets on Thursday has left the defending champions slip to sixth place on the points table with eight points. KKR and Rajashan Royals too have eight points but are ahead on net run-rate. There has been a lot of speculation around Pandya’s fitness, especially since the ICC T20 World Cup is around the corner.
However Mumbai Indians’ bowling coach from New Zealand, Shane Bond, said that not much should be read into the speculations around Pandya.
“Hardik’s training well. He’s trained today. He’s been close to playing. We’re obviously balancing the needs of our team and the needs of team India as well. It’s the one thing that this franchise does really well is look after its players with an eye not only to win this competition but an eye to the World Cup that’s coming up as well. Hopefully Hardik can be back for the next match and as I said he’s trained today and he’s going pretty well,” Bond said following MI’s loss on Thursday.
With two consecutive losses in Dubai, the defending champions would be aiming to bring the all-rounder back into the playing XI at some point in time. (IANS)