India all-rounder Hardik Pandya could well be rolling his arm over during the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, hinted Suryakumar Yadav.
Hardik Pandya backs to Bowling
Pandya, who didn’t bowl during the suspended IPL-14, has been bowling in the nets and during a practice game in Colombo. It has delighted Suryakumar, his Mumbai Indians teammate.
“During the IPL, he [Hardik] didn’t bowl. I think that the team management and Hardik knew their responsibilities really well, so it was their call. Here, in the intra-squad game, he did bowl in the nets. It’s his and the team management’s call how they want to go about it. But yes, he is bowling and it’s a very good sign,” Suryakumar said during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
The Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian team will play three ODIs and as many T20I games against Sri Lanka starting with 50-over matches from July 13.
Pandya, who underwent back surgery in the United Kingdom in 2019, took three wickets in five T20I games against England in March. He also bowled in the third ODI but returned wicketless and conceded 48 runs in nine overs at Pune on March 28. Pandya, 27, has taken 55 and 41 scalps in ODI and T20I cricket respectively.
Meanwhile, Suryakumar, 30, is keen to learn from legendary Rahul Dravid, who is the team’s coach for the tour. “It’s a great opportunity for everyone. It is a great challenge and responsibility for each and everyone to come out here and express themselves. And the great thing is having Rahul sir around. This is my first tour with him but I have heard a lot from many players that he is very calm and composed,” remarked Suryakumar, who made his T20I debut against England.
Arjuna’s remark ignored
The Mumbai batsman said the players are not affected by Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga’s ‘second-string Indian team’ remark.
“Everyone is completely focussed [on the series]. The way the practice sessions are going, the way the game went yesterday [on Monday], it’s all according to the plan and we are really excited for the challenge. We are not thinking about that [second-string side remark]. We are just here to have some fun, enjoy this series and take a lot of positives from here,” said Suryakumar.