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“There’s also no point in rushing him back to get injured and miss the rest of the tournament when we have a chance to win it.”

With Hardik Pandya sitting out both of Mumbai Indians’ matches since the resumption of IPL 2021, there has been a lot of speculation around his fitness and whether he will be ready to take a full part in the T20 World Cup coming up next month. Mumbai’s bowling coach Shane Bond tried to allay some of those fears in Thursday’s post-match press conference, but he refused to get into specifics about what might be troubling the allrounder.

“Hardik’s training well,” Bond said after Mumbai were beaten by Kolkata Knight Riders. “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.”

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