India vice-captain Rohit Sharma on Wednesday, at the toss of the warm-up clash against Australia, said that all-rounder Hardik Pandya is expected to be "ready" to bowl when the tournament kicks-off. In Pandya’s absence, India have had the issue of an unsettled side, with one less bowling option.
In the clash against Australia, Virat Kohli rolled his arm over for two overs, with a lack of sixth option in the bowling department for Rohit Sharma.
"Hardik is coming along pretty well, but it'll be a while before he will start to bowl. He hasn't started bowling, but he should be ready by the start of the tournament," said Rohit at the toss for the warm-up match against Australia.
"We have quality in the main bowlers, but you need an option for a 6th bowler," he added.
India play Pakistan in their opening match here on Sunday.Pandya's fitness is a concern heading into the tournament as he did not bowl at all in the IPL. The team management has repeatedly stated that Pandya's bowling is crucial for the team's balance.
Besides Kohli, pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami were also rested from Wednesday's warm-up game.
"We want to make sure that we get the 6th bowling option, some options in the batting order as well, we'll try all those things today," Rohit concluded.
(With inputs from PTI)