As KL Rahul blasted his way to 91 off 56 on way to scoring his second half-century of the three-match T20I series, his close friend Hardik Pandya was in attendance watching the match with Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani in the stands.
Rahul and Hardik’s friendship is well known and as the allrounder continues to recover from a back injury, the India opener said he misses having his friend in the dressing room.
“We are waiting for you to come back quickly, the dressing room feels empty without you at least for me, don’t know about the rest,” Rahul said while interacting with Hardik after India’s 67-run win over West Indies in the series decider at the Wankhede.
“You and (Jasprit) Bumrah are so important to the team. Hopefully, you guys recover and come back soon. They (other teammates) are also feeling the same, they told me off-camera.”
Hardik took to Instagram and praised Rahul on his wonderful knock. Sharing a picture of their conversation, Pandya wrote: “Well played bruh,” followed by a heart emoji.
Hardik last played in September against South Africa in T20Is before undergoing back surgery in October. The allrounder is closing in on a full recovery and is targetting the limited-overs tour of New Zealand during which India played five ODIs and three T20Is.
“We thought this was the right time because even if I take four months, I will be coming back before the New Zealand series, mid-way actually. That was the plan that I play some international games, the IPL and then the World T20. The biggest concern was the World T20 which touch wood is now in place,” Hardik told IANS on Tuesday.
“To be honest, right now I feel very good. We are working very properly. After surgery it is not easy, so we are trying to ensure that we cover all the areas. But everything said and done, injuries aren’t something you can control. I have noticed this after playing for 4-5 years that even if I don’t wish to get injured and take the necessary precautions, injuries is something which is a part and parcel of a sportsperson’s life. You cannot say I will not get injured and have to take it how it comes. So right now, I am trying to come back strong.”