Hardik Pandya ‘going to get booed louder’: Ex-Indian star warns over MI’s first home match

Former Indian cricketer Manoj Tiwary expects Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya to be booed a little louder when the team plays its first IPL match at home here on April 1, but he believes that the flamboyant all-rounder has the temperament to deal with it. Pandya, who replaced Rohit Sharma as MI captain before the start of the season, was booed by Ahmedabad fans when the team played against his former franchise Gujarat Titans on Sunday.

MI lost the match by six runs and will face Rajasthan Royals in their first home match at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday next week.

“… we have to see how he is received here in Mumbai because I think he is going to get booed a little louder here… Because as a fan, a Mumbai fan or a Rohit Sharma fan, no one expected that the captaincy would be given to Hardik,” Tiwary told PTI Videos in an interview.

“And although Rohit has given five trophies to Mumbai Indians, he has to lose the captaincy. I don’t know what are the reasons but I think it didn’t go down well with the fans. And that’s the reaction you see on the estate,” he explained.

Tiwary, however, is impressed with the way Pandya handled the backlash from fans.

“…knowing him, whatever I have observed lately on television, despite the boos, he kept his calm, he kept his cool, which is the sign of a good temperament” , did he declare.

The 38-year-old, West Bengal’s sports minister, said Pandya will have to keep the noise down and focus on his performances in order to be in good shape for the T20 World Cup which begins on June 1 in the Americas.

“I believe that even if he was not booed, he has to perform well to get into the Indian team and play in the World Cup. Because it is important that all players perform well and are also fit to be available for selection.

“And as he is the number one all-rounder… he obviously has to be fit and to be fit he has to perform,” he said.

Tiwary competed for the Delhi franchise in the IPL and he is keenly watching how his former team handles Rishabh Pant’s return after a potentially fatal car accident in 2022.

He believes the big hitter will return to his best very soon thanks to the franchise’s unwavering support.

“First of all, he will not be a burden. In fact, it will have a more positive impact that he will bring with him because as a player, he is one of the most talented cricketers in India, in done in the world of cricket at the moment,” he pointed out.

“Obviously in the first game he wasn’t at his best, but that’s obvious because it’s not easy after coming back from injury… But the intention was good on his part “With a few more matches, he will be back in his element as a match winner,” Tiwary said.

Tiwary said the support of coach Ricky Ponting and mentor Sourav Ganguly was a key factor in Pant’s comeback.

“As early as last year, the team coach Ricky Ponting brought him into the dugout… if we all remember, two months ago, Sourav Ganguly said he was going to be the captain.

“So when the mentor and coach want him in the team from the start, it means they don’t see him as a burden. Even if he doesn’t score points, he is still their captain, he is their leader,” he said. said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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