Hardik Pandya: How can Mumbai Indians skipper silence the critics on return to Wankhede?

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New Delhi: Hardik Pandya has faced severe criticism ever since his move to Mumbai Indians from Gujarat Titans. The Mumbai fan base has let their displeasure known on social media for replacing Rohit Sharma with Pandya as the franchise’s skipper.

MI’s loss in the opening two matches has fanned the flames with Pandya being trolled for his inability to lead the five-time champions to a good start in IPL 2024. His form with bat and ball has not helped the cause as well.

Pandya’s decision-making has raised the eyebrows of fans and experts, especially his move to hold back premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah. The MI pacer, used in the middle and death overs so far, is equally lethal with the new ball but Hardik has opted to bowl himself with the new cherry in the first two games. It will be interesting if the pattern changes against Rajasthan Royals (RR) today (April 1, Monday)

How can Hardik silence the critics?

There is only one way Hardik can win back the fans: Start winning matches. Had MI made a solid start to the IPL 2024 campaign, the picture would have been completely different. Victory is a great healer and Hardik could do with one today. Several former players have backed Hardik amidst the persistent criticism from the fans and experts.

As Hardik returns to Wankhede for the first time since his famous move to Gujarat Titans in the 2022 edition, Tom Moody, the former Director of Cricket at Sunrisers Hyderabad, explains how can Pandya silence the critics.

Speaking on the ‘Timed out’ cricket show on ESPN Cricinfo,Moody said that Pandya should shut out all the outside noise and concentrate on being a cricketer and a leader of the MI franchise. Moody added that Pandya needs the backing of the dressing room and only wins can silence the critics and help him get the fans’ backing.

Mumbai Indians face Rajasthan Royals in Match 14 of the IPL 2024. While MI have started their campaign with two successive losses, Royals have begun the season on a winning note with back-to-back wins.

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