Wellington: Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond wants all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who is recovering from a back surgery, to play a few matches before the Indian Premier League (IPL), beginning 29 March.
Bond will be travelling to Mumbai for a meeting with the franchise and when asked about Pandya, the MI bowling coach sounded confident that the all-rounder will come back stronger.
"I only hope he gets to play some cricket before the IPL and always believe it's better to spend a little bit longer for coming back rather than rushing it," Bond said.
"There's no doubt he can come back. I am just pleased that they are taking an orthodox approach with Hardik's rehabilitation and T20s, especially IPL will be nice for him to comeback as he will not be over-bowled."
Pandya underwent a productive net session at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru recently.
He was seen facing throwdowns in the nets and mainly played with a straight bat. It is not yet clear if he will make a comeback in the South Africa ODIs next month or the IPL.
Earlier this month, Pandya was ruled out of the Test series against New Zealand after failing to regain full match fitness.
The decision was taken after the 26-year-old consulted spinal surgeon James Allibone in the United Kingdom.
Pandya underwent a successful surgery in October last year to treat an acute lower-back injury and has remained out of action since.
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