'Hardik Pandya avoids tough situations, looks for easy ways': MI captain blasted as 'weak link' by ex-India all-rounder | Crickit

'Hardik Pandya avoids tough situations, looks for easy ways': MI captain blasted as 'weak link' by ex-India all-rounder

Apr 23, 2024 03:23 PM IST

Hardik Pandya has been bombarded with a series of accusations following yet another defeat for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024.

For someone who has led Gujarat Titans to two consecutive finals, the IPL 2024 is proving to be a tough nut to crack for Hardik Pandya. The Mumbai Indians captain has endured a forgettable run leading the five-time champions. With five defeats from eight games, MI are languishing in the bottom half of the points table with just 6 points, and likely out of contention for a Playoff berth until and unless the team goes through somewhat of a remarkable turnaround of sorts. Be it his batting, bowling or captaincy, Hardik has come in the firing line without an ounce of respite.

Time is running out for Hardik Pandya the captain. (Getty)
Time is running out for Hardik Pandya the captain. (Getty)

The latest from the Mumbai Indians camp suggests that Hardik could be in danger of losing the respect of his teammates and also being considered the weak link if he doesn't come good in the remainder of the tournament. Well, at least that's what Irfan Pathan feels. The former India all-rounder reckons Hardik’s form is a big reason to worry not just for MI but the Indian cricket team as well, whose squad for the T20 World Cup is expected to be announced soon. Pathan called out Hardik for his woeful form and insisted that if he doesn't lead from the front, he will lose all the respect from his team and fellow MI cricketers.

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"Mumbai Indians is still a very good team on paper but being managed very poorly. Especially, if Hardik Pandya as a leader lacks form, he will become a weak link for his own team. What I am most worried about is that he is affecting his own hitting abilities. This is a matter of concern – even for the Indian team. It seems as if he is looking for easy ways to come back to form and wants to keep himself in a comfortable position. And that is how he will not be able to win the respect of his team and teammates," Pathan said in a video."

Pathan baffled with Hardik's moves against Rajasthan Royals

Pathan was surprised by Hardik's tactics during the game against Rajasthan Royals on Monday, which MI lost by 9 wickets. Mumbai Indians were 20/3 when the situation was ideal for Hardik to take responsibility and bail the team out of trouble. But Pathan was taken aback seeing Mohammad Nabi and Nehal Wadhera bat ahead of Hardik. It was at No. 7 that Hardik walked out to bat, only to disappoint again, scoring 10 off 10 when MI's wheels were falling off. Even with the ball, Pathan was critical of Hardik, questioning his decision to open the bowling match after match.

When the batters do well, he comes to bat at No. 3. And here, he sent Nehal Wadhera and Mohammad Nabi ahead of himself. He doesn't come at a position where he needs to do the tough job. If as a leader, you have to earn your teammates' respect, he's got to do the tough tasks; don't look for easy ways. He bowls the first over thinking that he'll escape, but even there, he gets struck for 2 fours, helps Buttler get in form, and then when Bumrah bowls, Buttler gets the confidence to play him out," added Pathan.

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