‘Hardik Pandya won’t earn his team’s respect…’: Irfan Pathan attacks MI captain in series of tweets amid RR loss | Cricket

Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan has not been happy with Hardik Pandya’s captaincy at Mumbai Indians in the first two matches in IPL 2024 and he was rather left fuming at the all-rounder on Tuesday as the five-time champions succumbed to a third-straight loss in the tournament following a six-wicket defeat to Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium. In an array of tweets during the Rajasthan match, Pathan brutally attacked Hardik, both for his batting and for his captaincy as well.

Irfan Pathan has not been impressed with Hardik Pandya's captaincy
Irfan Pathan has not been impressed with Hardik Pandya’s captaincy

Pathan’s first tweet came during Mumbai‘s batting. The hosts, put to bat first, were sent three down in just 14 balls into the match with Trent Boult dismissing Rohit Sharma, Naman Dhir and Dewald Brevis, all for golden ducks, before Nandre Burger send MI four down by the end of the powerplay.

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Mumbai looked to recover from the top-order collapse, riding on a 56-run stand between captain Hardik and Tilak Varma, where the former, unlike his knock against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the previous game, scored at a brisk rate, lacing six boundaries in his 21-ball 34. However, Yuzvendra Chahal got rid of him at the halfway mark in the innings.

Taking a dig at Hardik, Pathan tweeted: “Ppl who understand the game well know this. If you are set, you got to see the team thru.”

The former India all-rounder was among the veteran cricketers who had lambasted Hardik for not making good use of Jasprit Bumrah in the powerplay after Hardik held the India pacer back until the fourth over in both the first two matches. However, against the Royals, Bumrah was introduced in the second over itself with the right-armer used thrice in the powerplay.

Taking an aim at Hardik, Pathan tweeted: “Not a rocket science to get your best bowler early on. Finally Bumrah with the new ball. It was forced cos of small total by RR.”

Pathan eventually concluded by advising Hardik to lead from the front if he truly wishes to “earn his team’s respect.”

The total of 125 for nine was never enough to defend. Mumbai did try their best by picking wickets at regular intervals and threatened to put Rajasthan under pressure. But Riyan Parag sealed the win for the visitors with his unbeaten knock of 54.


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