"I am a turtle right now, not a rabbit" - Hardik Pandya on managing bowling workload ahead of ODI WC
Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has expressed his readiness to take on a significantly higher bowling workload as he gears up for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, which will be hosted in India from October 5 to November 19. Currently, Pandya is part of India's white-ball squad for the series in West Indies.
Prior to the series, he had informed the team management of his eagerness to contribute with the ball. During the two ODIs played in the Windies, Pandya bowled a total of 9.4 overs. In the first match, he opened the bowling and was required to bowl only three overs as the game saw a reduced number of overs due to rain. In the second match, he bowled 6.4 overs but remained wicketless in a game that West Indies won.
In the absence of rested Rohit Sharma, Pandya led the side in the 2nd ODI. He has been carefully managing his bowling workload as he looks ahead to the World Cup.
Rahul Dravid emphasises the importance of giving opportunities to young players
Following the series against the Windies, Pandya's next 50-over assignment is likely to be the Asia Cup, starting from August 30. In the meantime, he will also captain India in the T20I series against West Indies, commencing on August 3.
"My body is fine. I have to bowl more overs and get my workload up for the World Cup. I am a turtle right now, not a rabbit and hoping everything goes right as the World Cup comes on," said Pandya as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
Recently, head coach Rahul Dravid emphasized the importance of considering the bigger picture rather than getting swayed by short-term results. Throughout this series, India has provided ample opportunities to players who are not regular members of the playing eleven, mainly due to the absence of regulars like KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Jasprit Bumrah, etc., who are either recovering from injuries or rested, as in Shami's case.