IPL 2024: Ravi Shastri lends support to Hardik Pandya after Mumbai Indians’s third loss, says, ‘just be patient…’

Pandya who has faced scrutiny since taking over the charge of Mumbai Indians as skipper, was booed by the spectators, including at the home venue at Wankhede Stadium.

Meanwhile, coming to the rescue, former India coach Ravi Shastri has supported Hardik Pandya and asked fans to be calm towards the all-rounder as it might affect his mental health.

ALSO READ: IPL 2024: Irfan Pathan lambasts Hardik Pandya after Mumbai Indians’ third loss — ‘He won’t earn his team’s respect..’

“You have supported the team over the years. In just 2-3 matches, they won’t be a bad team. They are 5-time champions, after all, they have a new captain. Just be patient, you know the bloke you’re getting after is a human being like you. At the end of the day, he has to sleep in the night. So just think about it, be calm,” Ravi Shastri told Star Sports.

Shastri even advised Pandya that everything would change when they started winning matches and suggested him to remain calm and patient.

“My thing to Hardik would be ‘calm, patient, ignore, and then just focus on your game’. You get a couple of performances going..they are a terrific side, and if they win 3-4 matches, everything will subside. You will, things will change,” he added.

On the issue of sacking MI’s former skipper Rohit Sharma, Shastri said they were entitled to decide on their team’s skipper.

“See, at the end of the day, this is not an Indian cricket team that is playing. This is franchise cricket. They have paid top dollar, they are the bosses. It’s their entitlement as to who they want as captain,” Shastri said.

However, he agreed that the communication would have been better about the change in captaincy.

“Where I think this could have been handled better is more clarity in communication. If you wanted as captain, say you’re looking at the future, looking to build, we are doing a fabulous job as everyone knows and we want him to help out Hardik in the next 3 years when the team is in progress. That communication should have come out a little more for all this to die down. It’s not a case of you saying ‘we don’t want Rohit Sharma’, or he was treated badly,” he added.

On hate comments and derogatory remarks Pandya received via social media, Shastri said, “You know social media. All sorts of things will come out, there are a lot of bullcrap out there. Some of the stories out there are planted. It’s just planted on other people’s names. Ignorance is bliss.”

Considered one of the richest franchises in the IPL tournament, Mumbai Indians are yet to open their account, losing all three matches against Gujarat Titans, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Rajasthan Royals.

What experts say:

India’s former all-rounder Irfan Pathan too launched a scathing attack on Pandya and questioned his captaincy skills.

Pathan took to X and wrote, “You always want your Leader to do the difficult things. If he doesn’t do it he won’t earn his team’s respect.”

ALSO READ: MI vs RR IPL 2024: How can Hardik Pandya silence critics? Navjot Singh Sidhu says Mumbai Indians captain should do this

Even former Indian cricketer and renowned commentator Navjot Singh Sidhu explained why fans were unhappy.

“Nobody can digest that their hero, the India captain, is not the captain of the franchise. What wrong has he done?” Sidhu asked.

Giving his expert advice to Pandya, Sidhu said, “There is nothing that succeeds like success. If Mumbai Indians had won the last two games, everyone would have been silent. I think he (Pandya) should focus on the team combination.”

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Published: 03 Apr 2024, 05:18 PM IST

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