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IPL 2022: Raina, Pathan impressed with Pandya's bowling comeback

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Mumbai, April 2 (IANS) Former India cricketers Irfan Pathan and Suresh Raina have been impressed with Hardik Pandya’s fitness in IPL 2022, especially lauding his comeback as a pacer. Both Raina and Pathan felt that the Gujarat Titans captain bowled nicely in the opening match against Lucknow Super Giants and will only get better as the season progresses.

In Gujarat’s first match of the season against Lucknow, Pandya bowled his full quota of four overs but was unable to get a wicket, conceding 37 runs at an economy rate of 9.25. In the successful chase of 159, Pandya made 33 with the bat after coming at number four, laced with five fours and a six at a strike rate of 117.85.

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“The way Hardik Pandya has made his comeback, is commendable. In a player’s return from injury, his family, especially, his wife has to play the most important role and we could see the happiness on his wife’s face when he was bowling. His elder brother Krunal has also played a major role in Hardik’s recovery and gave him all the confidence he needed. Hardik is looking fit and he’s also generating decent pace with the ball, these are good signs for Gujarat Titans,” said Raina in an episode of Cricket Live on Star Sports.

Pathan was also impressed by Pandya’s first view as captain-cum-all-rounder, saying that the biggest plus has been him making a comeback as a bowler. “The best thing about Hardik Pandya is that he’s once again started bowling. You can see that he’s not trying to bend a lot while releasing the ball, which means he’s not putting a lot of strain on his back.

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“There might be a slight dip in his pace due to this but bowling two-three good overs at the start of the tournament will give him the confidence to do well. If Hardik Pandya the batter and Hardik Pandya the bowler does well, then Hardik Pandya the captain will eventually do well. He’s looking to leave the disappointments of the previous season behind and make a fresh start.”

Gujarat will be hoping that Pandya will continue to fulfil his leadership as well as all-round duties when the IPL newbies face Delhi Capitals at MCA Stadium in Pune later on Saturday.

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–IANS

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