Cricket

IPL 2024: 'He is smiling too much,' Hardik Pandya Ripped Into By Ex-Cricketers On Live TV

Hardik's own performance has not been up to the mark this season and on Sunday he failed to win back his fans again

X/@mipaltan
The loss to CSK, MI's fourth in six games this season, has put the play-off chances of the five-time champions in jeopardy. Photo: X/@mipaltan
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Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya's performance came under fire once again after his team lost to Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday. (As It Happened | Scorecard)

This loss, MI's fourth in six games this season, has put the play-off chances of the five-time champions in jeopardy.

Hardik's own performance has not been up to the mark this season and on Sunday he failed to win back his fans again.

Hardik took the responsibility of bowling the last over when CSK was batting but conceded 26 runs with three back-to-back sixes from MS Dhoni. The massive last over meant that the pressure created by Jasprit Bumrah's seven-run penultimate over disappeared and CSK's total went beyond 200.

Former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Kevin Pietersen ripped apart the all-rounder's bowling as well as his captaincy on air.

Gavaskar who is known to speak is mind described Pandya's bowling and leadership as "absolutely ordinary."

Speaking live on Star Sports, the former Indian great said: "Oh, absolutely ordinary bowling, ordinary captaincy. They should have been restricted despite the fact that Ruturaj Gaikwad had batted so well along with Shivam Dube. I do believe that they should have been restricted to 185-190"

Kevin Pietersen also was not impressed by Pandya's captaincy and questioned his bowling changes.

"What I saw this evening wasn't good enough. I saw a captain who had plan A from a team meeting that was five hours ago and a captain who did not want to go to plan B when he should have... How on earth have you not bowled a spinner when your seamers are going for plenty," Pietersen asked.

The former England batter also said that Hardik was smiling for the sake of it and the crowd's reaction was affecting the MI captain.

"Everything away from game is affecting him too much. He is smiling too much when he is at the toss. He is acting like he is so happy but he is not happy... I have been in the firing line and i can tell you it affects you..."

Even with the bat, the MI skipper could not do much despite arriving at a crucial juncture in the match.

MI needed 77 of 37 balls when Hardik arrived to the crease. With the required rate already high, MI skipper struggled for timing in his short six-ball stay where he could only score only two singles.

A string of dot balls put the pressure on MI camp and they could never recover. Former skipper Rohit Sharma's fighting century went to vain as MI slumped to a 20-run loss.

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