Hardik Pandya destroyed by Gavaskar on live TV as Mumbai Indians slump to 4th defeat: 'Ordinary bowling and captaincy' | Crickit
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Hardik Pandya destroyed by Gavaskar on live TV as Mumbai Indians slump to 4th defeat: 'Ordinary bowling and captaincy'

Apr 15, 2024 06:02 AM IST

Sunil Gavaskar did not mince and slammed Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya for his 'ordinary bowling and captaincy'.

Sunil Gavaskar has tucked into Hardik Pandya for his ordinary bowling and captaincy as Mumbai Indians slumped to their 4th defeat of IPL 2024, losing to Chennai Super Kings by 20 runs on Sunday evening. Now placed 8th on the points table, with every loss, MI's chances of qualifying for the IPL Playoffs are taking a severe hit. The five-time champs have lost 2 games at the Wankhede and as they now travel to other venues for their next three, the task gets that bit tougher with Hardik having to walk through fire.

Hardik Pandya was pretty average last evening against CSK. (AFP)
Hardik Pandya was pretty average last evening against CSK. (AFP)

Hardik's own performances are putting him in the firing line. Last evening CSK posted over 200, but the target could have been lower had Hardik prevented MS Dhoni from going big in the last over. Instead, Hardik, whose bowling looked off-colour, gave away 2/43 from three overs, including a 24-run final over in which Dhoni clattered him for a hat-trick of sixes to finish the innings. And boy, was Gavaskar miffed. The former India captain unleashed fury on Hardik, holding the all-rounder responsible for being outdated with his planning.

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"Probably the worst kind of bowling that I've seen for a long, long time. It almost looks like I've had this embrace with my hero. I've got the kind of deliveries that he's gonna hit for sixes. One six is fine. The next one is a length ball when you know this batter is hunting for a length ball that he wants to hit. Third ball is again a full toss on the legs when you know he [Dhoni] is looking for a six," Gavaskar said on Star Sports during the innings break.

"Oh, absolutely ordinary bowling, ordinary captaincy. They should have been restricted despite the fact that Ruturaj Gaikwad had batted so well along with Shivam Dube. I do believe that they should have been restricted to 185-190".

The game marked the continuation of MS Dhoni's love affair with the iconic Wankhede Stadium. 13 years after he lifted the 50-overs World Cup at this hallowed venue, Dhoni's cameo of 20 not out off four balls was icing on the cake for the fans. The first six was a monstrous hit between long off and extra cover, while the second was clubbed towards cow corner. The third six was one that Dhoni flicked nonchalantly off his pads, making the Wankhede crowd go bonkers even as their 'god' Sachin Tendulkar watched the onslaught from the change room.

Dhoni's cameo trumps Rohit's fighting century

Dhoni's finish was the perfect flourish after CSK were buoyed by half-centuries from Gaikwad and Dube. After the decision to promote Ajinkya Rahane as opener with Rachin Ravindra tanked, Gaikwad, coming in at 3, creamed 69 off 40 balls with five fours and five sixes. Giving him support from the other end was the Dube, whose rise this season has been unprecedented with the all-rounder smashing 66 off 38 balls – his second fifty of the IPL 2024 – and completing 2500 IPL runs. The duo forged a 90-run partnership to keep MI bowlers waiting for a breakthrough

Dhoni and CSK's win trumped another special innings, the one played by Rohit Sharma as the former MI captain smashed an unbeaten 105 off 63 balls. Opening the innings, Rohit was devoid of strike in the middle overs as MI paid the price for a collective batting failure. After Rohit's hundred, the next best was Tilak Varma's 31 off 20, as Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and Tim David unable to get the job done. The win propelled CSK to 8 points and ensured that the five-time champions remain at 3 as they continue to make a solid march towards the Playoffs.

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