IPL 2024: Many were surprised to see skipper Hardik Pandya bowl the first over of the Indian Premier League 2024 for Mumbai Indians (MI), despite having master magician Jasprit Bumrah, in their ranks. 

In an interview with Cricbuzz, Indian Mohammed Shami said he was also surprised at Bumrah not being chosen. Shami speculated that Hardik likes to bowl with the new ball, and that’s why he may have chosen to bowl the first over.

Pandya has been facing a lot of brickbats since he took over the MI captaincy, succeeding Rohit Sharma. Fans have been furious about the way Rohit was unceremoniously removed from the top post. 

Pandya’s captaincy came under fire in MI’s first IPL 2024 match.

Pandya was batting in the final over as Mumbai required 19 runs to win. After scoring 10 runs off the first two balls, Hardik did not hold his horses. He tried to hit another out of the park and got out while many believed he could have safely scored 9 off 4 balls without taking any risks.

Pandya came to bat at number 7, surprising many. Shami was also asked about Mumbai’s batting order while chasing GT’s score in the IPL match. He was asked if it was done to keep the left-hand/right-hand combination intact. 

Shami, who had played under Hardik Pandya’s captaincy in GT for two years, said he didn’t understand the concept of the lefty-righty combo.

“People talk about that lefty-righty combination a lot these days. I don’t understand such things,” Shami said.

Hardik came as ‘tailender’

At the same time, Shami said, Hardik should have promoted himself and batted at number 3 or 4. Instead, he came to bat at number 7 like a tailender.

“As a captain, you should take more responsibilities. As far as Hardik is concerned, he has played at number 3 and 4 for Gujarat in the past. What’s the issue in coming to bat at number 3 or 4? Batting at number 7…as if Hardik was a tailender. You’re taking unnecessary pressure on yourself by coming at that number. If he had come earlier, the match would have been finished much earlier,” Shami added.

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Published: 26 Mar 2024, 10:40 AM IST

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