'MI qualified without Bumrah last year. Hardik Pandya made too many mistakes': Irfan pulls no punches on poor IPL 2024 | Crickit
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'MI qualified without Bumrah last year. Hardik Pandya made too many mistakes': Irfan pulls no punches on poor IPL 2024

May 01, 2024 10:19 AM IST

Irfan Pathan wasn't too happy with the way Mumbai Indians were led during IPL 2024.

With their recent defeat to Lucknow Super Giants, the Mumbai Indians find themselves teetering on the edge of elimination from the playoff race in IPL 2024. The five-time champions' struggles continued as they failed to post a competitive total, managing just 144 runs on the board before succumbing to LSG's chase. This loss marked their seventh defeat in 10 matches this season.

Hardik Pandya looks on during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians(AFP)
Hardik Pandya looks on during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians(AFP)

Criticism has been directed towards Hardik Pandya's leadership and Mumbai Indians' inconsistent performances with both bat and ball throughout the season. There were scattered contributions from former skipper Rohit Sharma and Tilak Varma with the bat but the team has lacked collective efforts from other batters, while Jasprit Bumrah has stood out as their primary wicket-taker. The lack of a cohesive team effort has left Mumbai Indians struggling to find their rhythm and string together victories in the competition.

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Former cricketer Irfan Pathan weighed in on Mumbai Indians' concerns, attributing their downfall to the leadership group's failure to manage the team effectively. Pathan highlighted the contrast with the previous season, where under Rohit Sharma's captaincy, Mumbai Indians navigated their way to the playoffs even in the absence of key players like Jasprit Bumrah.

“The team Mumbai Indians that qualified last year didn’t had (sic) Jasprit Bumrah but this season they had his services. Still they are in this situation. Purely because the team wasn’t managed well on the ground. Too many mistakes by their captain Hardik Pandya. It’s the truth,” wrote Irfan on his official X, formerly Twitter account.

The inability to replicate that success this season has raised questions about Mumbai Indians' strategic decisions and their prospects for the remainder of the tournament. With only four games remaining in their season, the side reels at the ninth spot in the table and is four points away from the fourth-placed Chennai Super Kings, having played an extra match.

Pathan's earlier criticism of Hardik

This is not the first time when the former India all-rounder expressed his disappointment at Hardik Pandya; last week, Irfan was critical of the fact that the Indian team management gives “priority” to the MI captain.

“What I feel about Hardik Pandya is that Indian cricket needs to make it clear that they should not give him that much priority as they have given him so far, because we still haven't won the World Cup. And if you think you are a primary all-rounder, you need to make that kind of an impact at the international level. As far as the all-rounder is concerned, he hasn't made that impact at the international level, we are only thinking about the potential. We are getting confused between the IPL performances and the international performances. That's a big difference,” Irfan told Star Sports.

Hardik is named vice-captain in India's 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup; the tournament is scheduled to begin on June 1, with India kickstarting their campaign against Ireland on June 5.

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