Hardik Pandya pushes Lasith Malinga away in fresh act to draw MI fans’ irk; SL legend had walked off from captain’s face | Cricket

Hardik Pandya should stay as far away from social media as possible, at least for the time being. He may seem unaffected by the booing and the occasional ‘Rohit Sharma’ chants in the stadiums where Mumbai Indians have played so far in IPL 2024 but the toxicity that is going on social media is beyond levels.

Hardik Pandya and Lasith Malinga
Hardik Pandya and Lasith Malinga

If trolling Hardik left and right, abusing him for his captaincy decisions, and slamming him for allegedly ignoring former MI captain Rohit’s suggestions were not enough, now Hardik has been accused of pushing Sri Lanka legend and current MI bowling coach Lasith Malinga.

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Videos doing the rounds on social media show Hardik shoving Malinga away when the MI great was trying to hug him after Mumbai Indians lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad. Hardik can be seen dodging Malinga’s hug and going forward to shake hands with the SRH players and the support staff.

That was not the only Pandya-Malinga episode on Wednesday that the fans were miffed about. Before the pushing-away incident, Malinga was seen getting up from his chair and walking away so that Pandya could sit in the dugout. The incident happened when Pandya was padded up, slated to come in to at No.5 in MI’s chase. Maling was sitting next to Kieron Pollard, MI’s assistant coach when the MI captain turned towards them. It was Pollard who wanted to get up first to allow Pandya to sit but Malinga did that instead and walked away from the scene. Pollard and Malinga can then be seen having a chat.

What irked the fans was that Pandya didn’t stop the senior-pro from giving his seat away even once. However, what the fans are perhaps neglecting is that Pandya was slated to come in next and it is a common practice in the dugout to make the players in the XI feel comfortable.

MI come second best in record-breaking match vs SRH

Records tumbled as Sunrisers Hyderabad went on a rampage to post the highest-ever IPL total of 277 for 3 against Mumbai Indians before sealing a 31-run victory in a power-hitting contest that left bowlers on both sides befuddled.

SRH opener Travis Head (62 off 24) and number three Abhishek Sharma (63 off 23) came up with a sensational display of power-hitting that saw the latter snatching the franchise record for the fastest fifty from the Australian within minutes.

Heinrich Klaasen (80 not out off 34 balls) provided the fireworks in the end to help SRH break an 11-year-old record. The previous highest total in IPL was 263 for five achieved by Royal Challengers Bangalore back in 2013. It was also the highest total recorded in a T20 league. Mumbai bowlers were left shell-shocked by SRH’s six-hitting spree but their batters came out with a purpose and made a match out of what looked like a one-way traffic at the innings break. Eventually, they ended at 246 for five in 20 overs.

This was the second defeat for MI this season in as many games. To top it all, Pandya’s own form with the bat and ball has been poor and some of the captaincy decisions questionable. One gets the feeling, the star India all-rounder would have to put in a couple of solid performances on the field to silence the trolls.


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