Mumbai Indians (MI) bowling coach Shane Bond hopes that India all-rounder Hardik Pandya plays some competitive games before he gets into the groove with the defending champions in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) this year. Also Read - India Battles COVID-19: Positive Cases Soar to 3,374, Death Toll Reaches 77; Govt Issues Fresh Advisory: 10 Points

Pandya is recovering from a back surgery and is expected to play a few matches before the IPL that gets underway on March 29. Also Read - Coronavirus in India: Millennials Most Vulnerable to Infection, 17% Patients Above 60 Years

According to a report in PTI on Tuesday, Bond will be travelling to Mumbai for a meeting with the franchise and asked about Pandya, the MI bowling coach is confident that the all-rounder will come back stronger. Also Read - Rohit Sharma Reacts on Yuzvendra Chahal's Funny TikTok Video With Father During Chat With MI's Jasprit Bumrah Amid COVID-19 Lockdown | WATCH VIDEO

“I only hope he gets to play some cricket before the IPL and always believe it’s better to spend a little bit longer for coming back rather than rushing it,”said Bond, New Zealand’s fastest bowler.

“There’s no doubt he can come back. I am just pleased that they are taking an orthodox approach with Hardik’s rehabilitation and T20s, especially IPL will be nice for him to comeback as he will not be over-bowled.”

Pandya underwent a productive net session at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru recently. He was seen facing throwdown in the nets and mainly played with a straight bat. It is not yet clear if he will make a comeback in the South Africa ODIs next month or the IPL.

Earlier this month, Pandya was ruled out of the Test series against New Zealand after failing to regain full match fitness.

The decision was taken after the 26-year-old consulted spinal surgeon James Allibone in the United Kingdom. Pandya underwent a successful surgery in October last year to treat an acute lower-back injury and has remained out of action since.