IPL 2024: WATCH - “Ordinary bowling, ordinary captaincy,” Gavaskar, Pietersen slam Hardik Pandya's poor show vs CSK

Hardik Pandya has come under the scanner after MI's 20-run loss to CSK.

Hardik Pandya was taken to the cleaners by MS Dhoni | BCCI-IPLMumbai Indians (MI) skipper Hardik Pandya is facing severe criticism after his team suffered a comprehensive 20-run defeat at the hands of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Match 29 of the IPL 2024 season at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday (April 14).

While the hosts were outplayed by the defending champions, it was also a tough game for Hardik, who conceded 43 runs in his three overs. In the final over of CSK’s innings, the MI captain was taken to the cleaners by CSK wicketkeeper MS Dhoni, who smashed the all-rounder for three successive sixes.

With the bat, Hardik Pandya scored 2 off 6 balls before getting dismissed by CSK seamer Tushar Deshpande.

After that ordinary outing, things got even worse for Hardik as former cricketers, including legends like Sunil Gavaskar and Kevin Pietersen slammed his performance as a captain and bowler too.

Gavaskar, in particular, was critical of Pandya’s bowling in the last over as he fed Dhoni with length deliveries.

“One six is fine. The next one again a length ball when you know that this batter is looking for a length ball to hit. The third ball again, a full toss on the leg side and he’s looking for it and hits it for a six. Absolutely ordinary bowling, ordinary captaincy. I do believe the CSK team should have been restricted for 185 or 190,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports during the mid-innings break.

Pietersen also joined in, questioning some of Hardik Pandya’s decisions and his lack of planning.

“What I saw this evening was not good enough. I saw a captain that had a plan A from a team meeting that was five hours ago and the captain didn’t want to go to Plan B when he should have. How on earth have you not bowled a spinner when your seamers are going for 20 runs?! Brian Lara was saying on commentary, ‘Can we please bowl spinners?’ They have spinners that can bowl. You need to change the pace of the game. I think with Hardik, everything away from the game is affecting him so much. He’s smiling too much when he does the toss. He’s trying to act like he’s so happy. He’s not happy! I’ve been there. I’ve been in the firing line and I’ve been there proper! I can tell you that it affects you. What’s happening with Hardik Pandya… the boos we have been hearing now and how happy they are to see Dhoni smacking him all over the park, it hurts you. He has emotions, he’s an Indian player. He doesn’t want to be treated like this. With this happening, it’s affecting him and his cricket. Something needs to happen,” Pietersen remarked.

Coming to the match, the defending champions racked up a mammoth 206/4 on the board after being asked to bat first. While Ruturaj Gaikwad (69 off 40) and Shivam Dube (66* off 38) struck fifties, MS Dhoni (20* off 4) provided perfect finish to the CSK innings.

In reply, the hosts managed 186/6 in their allotted 20 overs. Rohit Sharma waged a lone battle for MI as he slammed his second IPL century (105* off 63 balls) but didn’t get ample support from the other end. Tilak Varma was the next best scorer with 31 off 20 balls.

It was MI’s fourth defeat in six games this season and they slipped to the eighth spot on the points table, featuring 10 teams.

Mumbai Indians will next face Punjab Kings in Chandigarh on Thursday (April 18).


By Salman Anjum - 15 Apr, 2024

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