Be patient, don't rush back: Zaheer Khan to Hardik Pandya

MUMBAI: former sprinter from India Zaheer Khan Monday advised off-road injured Hardik Pandya Be patient and don't rush your return from a back injury.

Pandya has been out of action since September and underwent surgery for an acute lumbar injury in October. The 26-year-old who plays for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, it is not expected to return before the cash-rich T20 league starts on March 29.

For ME, IPL is still far away, and for Hardik it is important that he take his time to return 120 percent. I can say it from experience, when someone suffers injuries, it is not about returning, it is about how to return, said Zaheer, who himself made multiple returns after being injured, to the journalists.

Zaheer is director of cricket operations at Mumbai Indians .

You must be patient during this process and you must listen to the team around you: the support staff, be it your doctor, your physio, your trainers. Those are the key people with whom one must communicate and control the controllers.

I've always been advising everyone in the same way: you have to take your time; You can't be impatient and rush your return. This is when you come back, it should last a long time, he said.

Pandya is in rehab and also failed an aptitude test that delayed his return offer.

When asked if he had talked to Pandya recently, Zaheer said: I (talked to him). I will tell this to anyone who is an athlete and is going through an injury phase. It is frustrating at times when you are away from the game, but it is very important to be patient and control things under your control. It's about listening to your body ...

Zaheer interacted with kids of Mumbai Indians Junior, an inter-school programme organised by the IPL franchise.

He also rated India's recent 5-0 T20 victory in New Zealand as a great achievement.

New Zealand was having a bad time; They tried to find answers to beat this Indian team. But I feel that the 5-0 victory is a great achievement. They should be very proud of what they have done since New Zealand.

It will definitely be a hard series (ODI) for New Zealand for sure. For India, it is about maintaining that momentum and bringing confidence in the victory of the previous series to the ODI and Test parties, he said.

Asked if senior pacemaker injury Ishant Sharma Zaheer said there was no need to worry about India's attack on New Zealand, since the strength of the bank was good. It is unlikely that Ishant, who sprained his right ankle during a Ranji trophy, recovers in time for the test series that begins on February 21.

What was the result of the previous series? It's not about that; it's about forming a team there together. That is the strength right now that this Indian team has. The strength of any squad is also seen with the strength of its bench. We are in a position at the moment when the talent and the group of players we have is excellent, said Zaheer.

Roles are shared by different people. We are in a great space as a team right now regarding that, he said.