Abu Dhabi [UAE], September 24 (ANI): Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond has said that the franchise is also looking at the needs of Team India when managing the workload of all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
Hardik has not played the games against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 and it is not known when the all-rounder will make a comeback.
"Hardik is training well. He trained today (Thursday) and he is getting closer to playing. We are balancing the needs of our team along with the needs of Team India as well. This franchise looks after its players. We are hopeful that Hardik will be back for the next match, he trained well on Thursday," said Bond during a post-match virtual press conference.
"It is not a hard directive, you have a duty towards the players. You have to look after them, like anything you have to balance everything and you have to balance what the player wants. One thing our franchise does is look after our players. There is no point in rushing him back, you do not want him to get injured and miss rest of the tournament when we have a chance to win it," he added.
Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer played knocks of 74 and 53 respectively as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Mumbai Indians by seven wickets here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Thursday. With this win, KKR has risen to the fourth spot in the points table while Mumbai Indians has slipped to the sixth position.
"It is a fair comment. When you look at our team, we are probably operating around 80 per cent. We controlled the first six overs and we got into a position to further control the game against KKR, but as you rightly said that the middle-order has not got going. We talk about someone kicking through, we have not been able to do that and once again we found ourselves with a sub-par score," said Bond while replying to an ANI query.
"The one thing we do know is that we have got a quality batting lineup. There are good surfaces so I am hoping that the team can kick in because we need to quickly start winning some games," he added.
Earlier, Quinton de Kock's 55-run knock helped Mumbai Indians post 155/6 against KKR in the allotted twenty overs. For KKR, Prasidh Krishna and Lockie Ferguson scalped two wickets each.
"I felt it was a 175 wicket and we were well short of the score. KKR bowled brilliantly. They showed discipline and then came out and really put us under pressure with the bat. They deserved to win," said Bond.
Mumbai Indians will next lock horns against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Sunday. (ANI)