Hardik Pandya is 'under pressure', team environment 'in turmoil': MI's defeat against KKR draws staggering claims | Crickit
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Hardik Pandya is 'under pressure', team environment 'in turmoil': MI's defeat against KKR draws staggering claims

May 04, 2024 04:31 PM IST

Mumbai Indians faced their eighth defeat of the campaign on Friday, as the side conceded a 24-run loss to Kolkata Knight Riders.

Former South African skipper Graeme Smith slammed the five-time former champions Mumbai Indians after their disheartening loss against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday at the Wankhede Stadium. The loss also marked the end of KKR’s 12-year wait for a win against MI on their home ground, where they had trailed 1-9 in the head-to-head.

Mumbai Indian captain Hardik Pandya with teammate Jasprit Bumrah during an Indian Premier League (IPL) match (PTI)
Mumbai Indian captain Hardik Pandya with teammate Jasprit Bumrah during an Indian Premier League (IPL) match (PTI)

Smith slammed the Hardik Pandya-led side as he called MI a ‘confused unit’. He indicated the turbulences that happened in the initial phases of MI’s campaign where Hardik took over the skipper’s duties over Rohit Sharma, as one of the reasons behind their dismal performances. Smith also suggested having Tilak Varma at no.3, followed by Suryakumar Yadav and Pandya at No.4 and 5, respectively.

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"Hardik has really struggled. He's looked a man under pressure that obviously has created a little bit of turmoil in the environment and who knows how it's affected people. But even their batting lineup, it just looked like they were confused. You know, I think Tilak Varma, Wadhera floating in the middle order. Naman Dhir batting at three tonight they are moving all over the place. They should have had, Tilak at 3, SKY at 4 and Hardik at 5 through the season, David at 6 and then figure out your bowling unit," Graeme Smith stated on Jio Cinema after the match.

"They just been a very confused team this year. It's been hugely disappointing from one of the mega franchises in this year's IPL. And, you know, a lot of people will be very, very sore tonight - MI fan base and MI camp," he further added.

The South African legend also wondered if MI’s leadership group had to figure out their squad for the next year. He also believed the five-time former champions had to swallow a bitter pill by releasing some of their players for the next year.

"With three games to go in a bigger auction next year, do they need to figure out their squad? Do they need to see some players to say okay, we're gonna release this player. You know like Dewald Brevis has been in the squad now for years, hasn't really got a consistent opportunity or taking his opportunity, either. So you know, there is probably some decisions that need to be made by the leadership group for next year," Smith concluded.

MI are currently at no.9 in the points table with only 3 wins from 11 games as their playoffs hopes look bleak.

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