Mumbai Indians (MI) cricketers Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya. Pic: Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians’ (MI) Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya have joined the franchise in Abu Dhabi ahead of the second half of IPL 2021. The defending IPL champions have already begun practice and are sharing updates on social media on a regular basis with fans.
Taking to their official social media accounts, MI shared a Bollywood-style post to inform fans that the Pandya brothers are set to begin their preparations for IPL 2021. Sharing an image of Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya displaying the thumbs up gesture, MI wrote:
“Humare Pandya brothers aa gaye. #OneFamily #MumbaiIndians #IPL2021 @krunalpandya_official @hardikpandya93.”
MI also shared a video of the Pandya brothers arriving to join the franchise in which both cricketers are seen blowing flying kisses.
Both Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya were part of the Indian limited-overs squad that visited Sri Lanka for a short series in July. But ahead of the second T20I, Krunal Pandya tested positive for COVID-19 following which the all-rounder and eight of his close contacts were sent into isolation.
Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal and K Gowtham had to stay back in Sri Lanka after the conclusion of the series. All three returned to India after completing their isolation and testing negative for COVID-19.
Hardik Pandya had a poor run in the first half of IPL 2021 in India. He scored 52 runs in seven matches at a strike rate of 118.18 and did not bowl. Krunal Pandya, on the other hand, scored 100 runs in seven games at a strike rate of 131.57 and picked up three wickets with his left-arm spin.
IPL 2021 key to decide Hardik Pandya’s availability as bowler at the T20 World Cup: Paras Mhambrey
Earlier, National Cricket Academy (NCA) bowling coach Paras Mhambrey had stated that IPL 2021 will be significant for Hardik Pandya, as India will get a fair idea of how much he can bowl at the T20 World Cup.
Hardik Pandya hasn’t bowled in the IPL in recent seasons, after he underwent a back surgery in 2019. He has even lost his place in the Test team owing to his inability to bowl. Mhambrey was quoted as saying by IANS over Hardik Pandya’s bowling status:
“Yes, the way I look at him and the way I feel, I am sure he will bowl (in IPL). First step is the IPL. Maybe the franchise will decide how will they use him. That, kind of, will decide how it will be preparatory ground for the World Cup.”
The T20 World Cup will begin in the UAE and Oman immediately after the conclusion of IPL 2021.