Hardik Pandya sits alone in dugout as rest of the MI players walk out of Wankhede after crushing IPL 2024 defeat to RR | Cricket - Hindustan Times

Hardik Pandya sits alone in dugout as rest of the MI players walk out of Wankhede after crushing IPL 2024 defeat to RR

Apr 02, 2024 03:06 PM IST

Rest of the MI players abandoned Hardik Pandya and walked off the ground after the loss against RR as the captain sat alone in the dugout

The difficult became for difficult for Hardik Pandya at the end of Monday night at the Wankhede. He may not have expected a reception of any kind from the crowd on his Mumbai Indians homecoming, having faced the wrath of the fans in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad over the last fortnight. But failing to win them over with Mumbai incurring a third-straight defeat in IPL 2024, perhaps left him distressed as he walked towards the MI dugout on the ground and sat their alone after the match against Rajasthan Royals. What left the scene even more upsetting was the the rest of the MI players chose to walk off the ground towards, as none accompanied Hardik.

Hardik Pandya was left all alone in the MI dugout after loss against RR
Hardik Pandya was left all alone in the MI dugout after loss against RR

The boos rang throughout the course of the match, and perhaps even louder than what Hardik faced in the last two venues as Mumbai dished out a horrid batting performance against the Royals.

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Put to bat first at home, Mumbai went three down inside the first 14 balls with Trent Boult dismissing Rohit Sharma, Naman Dhir and Dewald Brevis for golden ducks. Hardik and Tilak Varma looked to revive the innings with his half-century stand, where the captain smashed six boundaries in a brisk knock. But the effort was not enough as Mumbai managed just 125 for nine in 20 overs.

The ploy to include Akash Madhwal worked for Mumbai and Hardik as the youngster struck at regular intervals, and threatened to put Rajasthan under pressure. But the target of 126 was never enough to defend. Riyan Parag scored a valiant unbeaten 54 to single-handedly drive Rajasthan past the target with 27 balls to spare as Mumbai lost by six wickets.

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Following the match, MI players lined-up for the customary handshake with the opposition side. Hardik then walked towards MI dugout and sat their alone while the rest of the players abandoned him and walked off the ground towards the pavilion.

'I needed to do a lot more'

Hardik took the blame upon himself for Mumbai's loss against Rajasthan at home as he reckoned that his dismissal allowed the visitors to bounce back in the match.

"Yes, a tough night, we didn't start the way we wanted to start. I wanted to counter, we were in a decent position to get us around 150-160, but my wicket allowed them to get back more into the game, I needed to do a lot more. It's okay, we didn't expect such a surface, but you can't always have it as a batter, it's nice at times for the bowlers to have a say," he said.

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