IP 2024: Hardik Pandya getting booed, shows you the status of Rohit Sharma, says Adam Gilchrist

Mumbai captain Hardik Pandya in action in IPL 2024 (AP)

Former Australian captain Adam Gilchrist suggested that Mumbai fans booing Hardik Pandya during their first home game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 shows the immense value their former captain, Rohit Sharma, holds among the fanbase. Hardik has faced considerable criticism from Mumbai supporters since taking over the captaincy from Rohit Sharma, who led the team to five title triumphs. These criticisms have only amped up after Mumbai lost all three of their IPL 2024 matches so far, under Hardik’s captaincy.

Hardik was booed by his home fans ahead of MI’s first home game of the season at the Wankhede Stadium against the Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan side on April 1. The scenario has been the talk of the cricket fraternity since then, amplifying the speculations around the teams’ chemistry. Hardik’s stint as the Mumbai skipper has not had the best of starts, as they lost their season opener to Gujarat by 6 runs, followed by a defeat to Hyderabad by 31 runs, and most recently, a loss to Rajasthan by 6 wickets.

Gilchrist explained how the reaction of Mumbai Indians fans towards Hardik Pandya, shows their respect towards Rohit Sharma.

“It shows you the status that Rohit Sharma has in the game there. The mysterious manner with which it all played out initially, the pace with which it happened, everyone was stunned with Mumbai getting Hardik Pandya away from Gujarat and then Rohit relinquishing captaincy. It’s an odd one. But this is the nature of the beast in the IPL. The tribalism and intensity within fan bases. It’s hard to replicate anywhere else with that level of intensity,” Gilchrist said on Club Prarie Fire podcast.

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The backlash against Hardik marks a notable occurrence in Indian cricket, sparking questions about the all-rounder’s viability as the franchise captain in the long run. Yet, Gilchrist is familiar with such receptions, having encountered similar scrutiny when he succeeded the esteemed wicketkeeper Ian Healy in the Australia Test squad back in 1999. Drawing from his own experience, Gilchrist offered insights on how Hardik can navigate his challenges at Mumbai Indians.

“I got hammered on to the field. And all the way off. So I know what (Hardik) feels like, I will just get on to Hardik, and I will get him through…I am the boo whisperer, I know how to get inside their minds and just get them through. I will get on to Hardik, I have sent that message to MS, I will keep you posted on that and I will get him on and we can get inside his mind and help him, Dig out of the trouble they are in,” Gilchrist added.

Both Hardik and Mumbai will be hoping to turn the tide during their next clash against Delhi Capitals on April 7, where they will try to win the confidence of their fanbase with their first win of the season.

Published By:

Debodinna Chakraborty

Published On:

Apr 3, 2024

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