The internet has not been very supportive of new Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya, who continues to face intense backlash for replacing star Rohit Sharma. The defeat against Gujarat Titans in their IPL opener multiplied his criticism on social media with fans questioning his on-ground decisions. The users on social media remarked that Hardik Pandya is acting like a “wanna-be MS Dhoni” on the field and pacer Mohammed Shami, who played the last two seasons under Hardik Pandya’s captaincy has response to that claim.

While emphasizing the individuality of the captains, Mohammed Shami said every leader has a different mindset and one stays in the game depending upon his skill. “Dhoni is Dhoni. You cannot match someone else. Everyone has a different mindset, whether it is Dhoni or Kohli. You should stay in the game depending on your skill. You batted at No. 3 and 4 in the last two seasons. You are used to that position. You can at the most bat at No. 5, but not at No. 7,” India’s star pacer Mohammed Shami said.

Mohammed Shami played the previous two seasons of IPL for Gujarat Titans under the captaincy of Hardik Pandya.

The Rashid Khan question

One more question, which troubled Hardik Pandya a lot was why Tim David batted ahead of the MI skipper. Some veteran players pointed out that Hardik Pandya took the decision as he wanted to avoid GT’s magical spinner Rashid Khan, who was bowling his last over when Tim David came to bat.

“Why Tim David was ahead of Hardik when Rashid Khan’s one-over was left? I would choose Indian better than overseas batter any day vs spinner,” India’s veteran pacer Irfan Pathan said.

Hardik Pandya came out to bat on number 7, which was unusual in IPL as for Gujarat Titans, he even played on number 3 and 4. The fans questioned his ability to take risks or face complex bowlers on the field.


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Published: 25 Mar 2024, 04:15 PM IST

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