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Hardik Pandya leads Mumbai Indians teammates in IPL captaincy dress rehearsal after 130 days out

Hardik Pandya returned to competitive cricket with DY Patil T20 Tournament ahead of IPL 2024.

Flamboyant India all-rounder Hardik Pandya returned to competitive cricket with the DY Patil T20 tournament on Monday as he took over charge of Reliance 1 in a match against Bharat Petroleum. Pandya has been out of action for over four months after he sustained an ankle injury during the 2023 ODI World Cup match against Bangladesh. The unfortunate injury forced him out of the tournament and the following series, forcing Pandya to undergo a rehabilitation program advised by the NCA to regain his fitness.

Welcome back, Hardik Pandya. (Screengrab)

And finally, after more than three months, Pandya returned to the ground in the DY Patil T20 tournament which got underway on February 26.

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The Indian all-rounder worked hard to regain his fitness in the past few months as he also kept the fans updated with his social media posts regarding his rehabilitation process. The Pandya-led the Reliance 1 side which features several Mumbai Indians stars – Tilak Varma, Nehal Wadhera, Akash Madhwal and Piyush Chawla, who would all be playing under his leadership in the upcoming season of IPL 2024.

Sandeep Sharma, Rahul Tripathi, Anukul Roy and Ramandeep Singh were the likes of IPL stars who represented Bharat Petroleum in the opening clash of the DY Patil T20 tournament on Monday.

Ishan Kishan set to return

Meanwhile, Ishan Kishan, who is under the scanners for skipper Ranji Trophy, is expected to return to action in the same tournament where he will be representing the RBI side. Kishan withdrew his name from the India squad during the South Africa due to mental fatigue and since then he has been out of the side.

Pandya’s return to action is a big boost for Mumbai Indians as he is all set to return to the franchise after two years and in a new role as a captain. The 30-year-old played for Gujarat Titans in the last two seasons where he led the side to two consecutive finals. However, MI made a big move in this season’s trading window to bring Pandya back to their team as he also replaced Rohit Sharma as their captain.

The five-time champions will start their IPL 2024 campaign against Pandya’s former franchise Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad on March 24.


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