‘What wrong has Rohit Sharma done? Nobody can digest…’: Sidhu’s ‘Dhoni’ advice for Hardik Pandya to silence critics | Cricket

Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar took an unprecedented step on Monday evening when he asked the Wankhede crowd to “behave” after they broke into probably the loudest boos for Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya at the toss. The all-rounder looked on with a wry smile, unfazed at the ambience, which somewhat implied that he probably expected it despite it being his cricketing homecoming. But given what MI eventually incurred at the end of the match against Rajasthan Royals, the treatment from the Mumbai fans are only likely to get harsher and louder. Giving his two cents on the unhappy crowd and how Hardik can win them over, former Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu dropped an “MS Dhoni” mention.

Navjot Sindh Sindhu has his say on how Hardik Pandya can silence his critics
Navjot Sindh Sindhu has his say on how Hardik Pandya can silence his critics

Speaking on Star Sports, Sidhu reckoned that the behaviour from the fans were directly related to Mumbai Indians removing Rohit from the leadership role, after the incumbent India captain led the franchise to five IPL titles between 2013 and 2023.

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“Nobody can digest that their hero, the India captain, is not the captain of the franchise. What wrong has he done?” he asked.

Sidhu was also rather direct in pointing out that Hardik needs to get his combination right as he lashed out recalling the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad where the team scored a record 277 against Mumbai.

“There is nothing that succeeds like success. If Mumbai Indians had won the last two games, everyone would have been silent. I think he (Pandya) should focus on the team combination,” Sidhu said. “When you concede 277 runs (against Sunrisers Hyderabad), everyone screams that your bowling is not good enough. How could a team score 277 when it was unprecedented in the tournament? The other game (against Gujarat Titans) was a close one. They were defeated, not disgraced.”

The former India cricketer then urged Hardik to follow Dhoni’s footsteps in making “minor adjustments” to his playing XI. “Look at what Dhoni does. When Devon Conway, who was the leading run-getter for him last season, got injured, he got in Rachin Ravindra, who is similar and somewhat better. He needs to find that kind of replacements or he will be exposed.”

Mumbai, however, succumbed to a third-straight defeat in IPL 2024 on Monday after Rajasthan won by six wickets to go top of the points table. Mumbai languished to the bottom end.


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