IPL 2024: WATCH - Ambati Rayudu consoles dejected Hardik Pandya after MI’s crushing loss against RR

Under Pandya’s captaincy, MI have lost their first three games in the IPL 2024 so far.

Ambati Rayudu and Hardik Pandya | Mumbai Indians/XHardik Pandya’s captaincy stint for Mumbai Indians (MI) hasn’t got off to the best of starts in the ongoing IPL 2024 season.

Under his leadership, the five-time champions have lost their first three games. Amid the losses, Hardik is also facing the crowd backlash at different venues, including loud boos and ‘Rohit, Rohit’ chants.

On Monday (April 1), the MI skipper was booed by the fans at the Wankhede Stadium as soon as his name was called out before the toss against Rajasthan Royals (RR).

Following the game, former MI batter Ambati Rayudu showed his generous side as he walked down to the Mumbai dugout to console Hardik Pandya.

The official X handle of Mumbai Indians shared the video of their interaction with the caption, “Why do we fall? So that we can pick ourselves up.”

After MI’s six-wicket defeat at the hands of RR, the home team lined up to shake hands with the opposition players and congratulate them on the win. Hardik then walked towards the MI dugout and sat there alone while rest of the MI players abandoned him and left the ground.

The visuals left former India spinner Harbhajan Singh deeply disturbed as he slammed the MI players for "not accepting Hardik as their captain".

Notably, Hardik Pandya completed a high-profile trade from Gujarat Titans (GT) to MI ahead of the IPL 2024 auction. Soon after the trade, the all-rounder was handed the captaincy, replacing Rohit Sharma, who led the franchise to five titles in his 11-year tenure as skipper.

“The visuals are not looking good. He has been left alone. The players of the franchise should accept him as their captain. The decision has been made and the team should stick together. Having played for this franchise, the situation is not looking good,” Harbhajan said on Star Sports.

Rayudu, who was also part of the panel, wondered if the team members are deliberately making Hardik look "confused".

“I don’t know whether it is intentional or unintentional but there are a lot of people in the team who are making him confused. The big personalities in the dressing room are not allowing him to work freely as a captain This is not the good situation to be in for any captain,” Rayudu stated.

Former India opener Navjot Singh Sidhu was also critical of Mumbai players’ act as he said: "Hardik is feeling dejected and sad because there is no one he can speak to. Other players should understand that a team can only win when everyone plays together as a unit. If they don’t do it, Mumbai will not win. The dug-out pictures of Hardik are telling a sad story.”

Mumbai Indians will next face Delhi Capitals after an extended gap at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday (April 7).


By Salman Anjum - 02 Apr, 2024

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