'Rohit Sharma didn't score runs, or win IPL trophy as captain in last...': Sehwag fires shots at Hardik Pandya's critics | Crickit
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'Rohit Sharma didn't score runs, or win IPL trophy as captain in last...': Sehwag fires shots at Hardik Pandya's critics

Apr 23, 2024 08:44 PM IST

Sharply responding to Hardik Pandya's critics, Virender Sehwag sent a reminder that Rohit Sharma did not lift the IPL trophy in the last three seasons.

Amid the immense criticism against Hardik Pandya's batting, bowling and captaincy, the Mumbai Indians captain has found support from former India cricketer Virender Sehwag. Criticisms have been directed at Hardik all through the season and it was the same on Monday after the franchise incurred their fifth loss in the ongoing IPL 2024 season after Rajasthan Royals scripted a double against MI with a nine-wicket win. Sharply responding to Hardik's critics, Sehwag sent a brutal reminder that previous captain Rohit Sharma did not lift the IPL trophy in the last three seasons.

Virender Sehwag gave a sharp reply to Hardik Pandya's crictics
Virender Sehwag gave a sharp reply to Hardik Pandya's crictics

Speaking to Cricbuzz after the RR-MI game in Jaipur, Sehwag was asked if the pressure is increasing on Hardik as an all-rounder after the captain just 10 off 10 as the team managed 179 for 9 in 20 overs and later was smashed for 21 runs in just two overs for no wicket. The India legend did not agree with the query on pressure, saying that Mumbai have been in similar situations a few many times in the last, most recently in 2021 and 2022, where they have failed to make the playoffs. Sehwag reminded that in the last three season Rohit was the captain, he failed to score runs and lead the team to a trophy win.

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“I don't think (pressure is increasing on Hardik as a batter and bowler), although, maybe he is taking the pressure because of the expectations around him. But Mumbai were in the same situation last year, and few many times previously as well. It is nothing new to them. Rohit did not score runs as a captain. He did not even win the trophy as captain in the last 2-3 seasons,” he said.

The former India opener advised Hardik to not to take pressure on himself given the expectations around him and urged him bat up the order in a bid to make a difference in his batting. Sehwag reckoned that if the skipper can improve his batting numbers by playing in the top order or the upper middle-order than his bowling and captaincy will improve automatically.

“Mumbai know that they have been in situations like these so only if they perform as a team here on, will they get...but if Hardik goes with the expectation that he has to bowl and bat well and that they are not winning under his captaincy and it sort of creates a pressure on him then that is wrong. And to perform well he has to bat higher up the order as well, right? If you bat down the order, get about 18 balls to face then how will he perform? He needs to give himself that chance, because if he bats well, his bowling and captaincy will improve as well,” he added.

No enough support for Hardik Pandya at MI?

Former India cricketer Manoj Tiwary, who was part of the panel, said that he fails to see MI bouncing back from the situation they are in currently and make the playoffs. He explained that even though Rohit did not have a good team in the last few seasons, the players rallied behind him, which he feels, is not the case in 2024 with Hardik lacking support from fellow MI players.

“Up until the time Rohit was captain, last year they did not have a good team, yet they qualified for the playoffs because all the players were with him, supporting him. Now I feel all the players aren't giving enough support to Hardik and charging him up, something is missing in this puzzle. It feels weird to say this, but I have to,” he said.

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