Hardik Pandya's Mumbai Indians Captaincy Debut Met with Dismay

Hardik Pandya’s Mumbai Indians Captaincy Debut Met with Dismay

Hardik Pandya’s maiden outing as Mumbai Indians captain proved to be a baptism of fire, as he faced a barrage of criticism from fans, commentators, and experts alike. The decision to replace Rohit Sharma with Pandya as skipper drew widespread disapproval, with fans expressing their dismay at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.

Pandya’s tactical decisions during MI’s opening match against Gujarat Titans came under intense scrutiny. His choice to bowl the first over himself instead of Jasprit Bumrah raised eyebrows, with former England player Kevin Pietersen expressing disbelief at the crowd’s reaction. “I have never seen any Indian player getting booed like they are booing Hardik Pandya here in Ahmedabad. This is a rare happening,” Pietersen said.

Pandya’s decision to send Tim David ahead of him also drew criticism, with Irfan Pathan suggesting that the new MI skipper may have been trying to avoid facing Rashid Khan. Former India head coach Anil Kumble took a dig at Pandya for not revealing the names of the players when asked about the team combination at the toss.

The criticism extended beyond the match itself, with fans taking to social media to express their disapproval. Videos of fans booing Pandya circulated widely, reflecting the sentiment of those who were unwilling to accept him as the Mumbai Indians skipper.

Pandya’s performance on the field did little to quell the criticism. He scored just 12 runs and conceded 30 runs in his two overs, failing to make a significant impact on the game. MI ultimately lost the match by 5 wickets, adding to the disappointment of the fans.

The backlash against Pandya highlights the high expectations that come with captaining one of the most successful teams in the IPL. Rohit Sharma’s legacy as a leader looms large, and Pandya will need to prove himself worthy of the role if he wants to win over the hearts of the Mumbai Indians faithful.

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