“He was making a lot of mistakes at that time," Irfan Pathan on criticizing T20 World Cup hero Hardik Pandya during IPL 2024

Hardik Pandya played a key role in India's T20 World Cup 2024 triumph after a tough IPL campaign.

Hardik Pandya | GettyFrom facing the wrath of jeering Mumbai Indians (MI) fans to script India’s historic T20 World Cup 2024 title win, Hardik Pandya completed his stunning turnaround at the grandest stage last month.

Ahead of the IPL 2024 season, Hardik left the Gujarat Titans in a sensational all-cash deal to join MI. He was also handed the captaincy by the franchise management, replacing Rohit Sharma.

This decision, however, wasn’t well received by a section of Mumbai fans, who heckled the all-rounder during the cash-rich league in different venues. He was also criticized by several former cricketer, including Irfan Pathan.

However, Hardik Pandya stayed calm and focused all this while, and went on to play an instrumental role in India’s T20 World Cup triumph. As a result, he didn’t only silence his detractors but also won the over the fans.

Speaking to Star Sports after the T20 World Cup, former India all-rounder Pathan said that he castigated Hardik because he was performing way below his standards in the IPL 2024.

"It's been a special journey for Hardik Pandya. Coming back from all the criticism, I was actually the one who criticized him because he was not performing during the IPL time. He was making a lot of mistakes at that time," Irfan said.

"From there to coming back and winning the World Cup has been special. He showed the character, he performed. With Rohit Sharma, with Jasprit Bumrah, the kind of performance he did to make a difference to the Indian cricket team has been so special," he added.

Hardik Pandya’s performance in the T20 World Cup was nothing sort of remarkable. He defended 15 runs in the final over to script India’s tense seven-run victory over South Africa in the title clash at the Kensington Oval, Barbados.

Overall, Hardik claimed 11 wickets from eight innings and scored 144 runs from six innings in the global showpiece event. His best batting performance came against Bangladesh when he slammed 50* off 27 balls in the second Super 8 fixture.


By Salman Anjum - 09 Jul, 2024

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