Zaheer Khan's advice to Hardik Pandya: Be patient in comeback bid

Updated: Feb 04, 2020, 07:37 IST | Harit N Joshi | Mumbai

Zaheer Khan has advised Hardik Pandya not to rush into his comeback.

Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan

When Hardik Pandya took part in a training session with Team India ahead of the opening ODI against Australia at the Wankhede Stadium last month, the all-rounder looked almost set to return to action from his last year's back surgery.

However, he was pulled out of the India 'A' tour to New Zealand and recently, the BCCI ruled him out from Test series against the Kiwis after Pandya travelled to consult his spine surgeon Dr James Allibone in London. As the flamboyant all-rounder continues his rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, his mentor at Mumbai Indians, Zaheer Khan, who is also Director of Cricket Operations of the IPL team, has advised Pandya not to rush into his comeback. Zaheer, a veteran of 92 Tests and 200 ODIs, who made multiple comebacks from injuries, remarked: "It is important he takes his time to come back 120 per cent. I speak from experience…when anyone goes through injuries, it's not about coming back, it's about how you come back. When you come back, you should be in for a long haul.

"You have to be patient and listen to the team which is around you—the support staff, be it your doctor, physio, trainers. Those are the key people one should communicate with and control the controllables," said the former left-arm pacer. Zaheer admitted an injury phase can be frustrating. "It's frustrating at times when you are away from the game, but it's very important to stay patient. It's about listening to your body, getting more than 100 per cent, making sure you've ticked all the boxes and then make a comeback," he said.

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