Hardik Pandya bowls in IPL for the first time after 2019 final, goes for 37 in four overs

In the last couple of years, Pandya hasn't bowled much because of his back injury. In an interview last month, when asked where his bowling is at the moment, he said: "It's a surprise for everyone."

Hardik Pandya bowls for the first time in IPL since the 2019 final.   -  SPORTZPICS

IPL newbies Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants will square off against each other in their season opener on Monday. All eyes will be on Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya and his bowling fitness.

In the last couple of years, Hardik hasn't bowled much because of his back injury. In an interview last month, when asked where his bowling is at the moment, he said: "It's a surprise for everyone."

But on Monday, Hardik rolled his arm over in the IPL for the first time since the 2019 final against Chennai Super Kings. The Gujarat Titans's captain came on to bowl after Mohammad Shami's fiery opening spell during which he took three wickets to rattle the Lucknow Super Giants top-order. He finished with figures of 0 for 37 in four.

IPL 2022: Focus on captains Rahul and Hardik as Lucknow faces Gujarat Titans  

Earlier, Hardik bowled 16 overs across three ODIs and a T20I on India's tour of Sri Lanka in July last year, and did not bowl a single over in the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 for Mumbai Indians. In fact, Hardik did not bowl for Mumbai since the 2020 IPL and purely played as a batter. The last time Hardik bowled was against Afghanistan at the T20 World Cup, when he conceded 23 in 2 overs.

Hardik fell from Grade A to Grade C in the BCCI central contracts system announced earlier this month.

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