IPL 2024: Pollard Backs Under-Fire Mumbai Captain Pandya

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Mon 15 Apr 2024, 4:01 PM

Mumbai Indians batting coach Kieron Pollard has no doubts that their fans will be singing Hardik Pandya's praises again despite the team's faltering Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign under the all-rounder.

Pandya, who led Gujarat Titans to the title in their debut season in 2022, moved to Mumbai this season and replaced Rohit Sharma as captain.

Rohit had led Mumbai to five IPL titles between 2013-20 and the move to replace him as captain has not gone down well with a large number of Mumbai fans, who booed Pandya even in their home games.

Rohit smashed an unbeaten 105 against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday but Mumbai still slumped to their fourth loss in six matches, dropping to eighth in the 10-team league.

Pandya bled 43 runs in his three overs, 26 of them in the final over of the Chennai innings, for his two wickets and scored two during their chase.

The 30-year-old is expected to play a key role in India's campaign at the T20 World Cup in June and Pollard would not single out the all-rounder for Mumbai's stuttering campaign.

"I am fed up of (people) looking to pinpoint individuals. Cricket is a team sport at the end of the day," Pollard said after the loss against Chennai.

"This is an individual that is going to represent the country in less than six weeks' time, and all are going to cheer him and want him to do well.

"So it's high time we try to ... stop nitpicking and see if we can get the best out of one of the great all-rounders India has produced. He can bat, bowl and field, and has a X-factor about him.

"I hope, deep down within my heart, that when he comes out on top, I'll sit back and watch everyone sing his praises."

Since returning from the injury he suffered in last year's ODI World Cup, Pandya has struggled to find his best form.

In six matches, Pandya has scored 131 runs at an average of 26.20. While with the Gujarat Ttitans, he scored at an average of 37.86 but had a low strike rate because of the anchor role he played for the franchise.

"As an individual you have to evolve. When you are young, you have the youthful exuberance. You go out and do things in a certain manner. The older you get, accountability and responsibility kick in," Pollard said.

"What I am seeing is the guy is evolving. We, as individuals, want to see certain things but sometimes the game does not demand certain things and (players) are going to make mistakes as you go along, as we all have done.

"The individual has put in the work and hard work pays off. So, all of us will be singing his praises when time comes."

With four away games coming up, Mumbai will have to find a way to bounce back if they are to stay alive in the playoff race.

"We just need to keep our intensity high, be smart about our plans," said Pandya.

"If we can do that, we can get the goal we want."


  • IPL 2024: Rohit ton in vain as Chennai beat Mumbai
  • IPL 2024: Iyer pleased with Kolkata's comprehensive win over Lucknow
  • IPL 2024: Fit-again Kuldeep Yadav back in elements


Khaleej Times

Legal Disclaimer:
MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.