Hardik Pandya returns to professional cricket ahead of IPL 2024 in this tournament

Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya, on Monday (February 26), made his long-awaited return to action in competitive cricket. The India all-rounder had not played a competitive match since he suffered an ankle injury during the ODI World Cup last year. He suffered an injury during the match against Bangladesh on October 19.

The all-rounder ended up twisting his ankle while trying to stop a shot with his foot during his follow-through in his first over of the game. While he did not participate further in the game, he was expected to recover for the latter part of the World Cup. However, Hardik Pandya was eventually ruled out of the main event and is yet to play for Team India.

After being sidelined for over four months, Hardik Pandya finally returned to competitive cricket on Monday in the ongoing DY Patil T20 tournament. He leads the Reliance 1 team in the competition. Reliance 1 opened its campaign against Bharat Petroleum at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy cricket ground in Navi Mumbai.

Hardik Pandya has also played in the competition in the past and hopes to hit the ground running upon his return. Meanwhile, veteran batsman and wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik will also reportedly ply his trade in the DY Patil T20 competition. He will reportedly take a break from commentary duties and play in the tournament to prepare for IPL 2024.

Hardik Pandya to lead Mumbai Indians:

Hardik Pandya will lead the Mumbai Indians in the upcoming IPL season, scheduled to begin on March 22. He replaced Rohit Sharma as team captain. Rohit has led the team since 2013 and guided them to a record five IPL titles.

The all-rounder plied his trade for the Gujarat Titans in the last two seasons of the IPL and did a brilliant job as captain. In 2022, he led the team to the IPL title before leading them to the final of the last IPL season. Later, he got a return to Mumbai Indians through a trade deal before being named captain.

“We saw a window period to get Hardik back as a player.” said Mumbai Indians head coach Mark Boucher earlier this month. “He is also an Indian boy from Mumbai. He moved on to another franchise, won his first year as captain and was runner-up in his second year. Obviously he also has very good leadership skills.”