‘MS Dhoni played under Virat Kohli’: Ashwin blasts Hardik Pandya haters, calls his criticism ‘cinema culture’

Hardik Pandya is facing a hostile crowd at stadiums, who are booing the MI skipper and trolling him for his on-field decisions. The all-rounder has cleared that the criticism doesn’t affect him much, but the intensity of the anger against him is looking unstoppable. Amid a tough IPL phase, Hardik Pandya is receiving support from various quarters including India’s legendary spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who quoted MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli’s example to defend the MI skipper.

While speaking on Hardik Pandya’s intense criticism after replacing Rohit Sharma as the MI captain, Ravichandran Ashwin said that the reaction of the fans is making it seem like no junior player has replaced a senior player as captain. Then he named some legends of Indian cricket, who played under their juniors.

“I don’t understand. If you don’t like a player and boo a player, why should a team come out to issue a clarification? We act like this has not happened before. (Sourav) Ganguly played under Sachin (Tendulkar) and vice versa. These two have both played under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy. These three have played under Anil Kumble and all of them have played under Dhoni. When they were under Dhoni, these players were cricket jambhavans (giants). Dhoni too played under Virat,” Ravichandran Ashwin was quoted by Sportstar.

Ravichandran Ashwin said neither Rohit Sharma nor Hardik Pandya has a role in this and the onus simply lies on the fans. “Have you seen this happen in any other country? Have you seen Joe Root and Zak Crawley fans fight? Or have you seen Joe Root and Jos Buttler fans fight? It’s crazy. Have you seen Steve Smith and Pat Cummins fans fight in Australia?” the spinner asked.

‘This is a cinema culture…’

While diving deep into the technical aspects like marketing, positioning, and branding, Ravichandran Ashwin called this part of cinema culture and asserted that the war of fans must not take an ugly route.

“I’ve said this many times. This is cricket. This is a cinema culture. I know there are things like marketing, positioning, and branding. I don’t deny it. I don’t believe in all this on my side but it’s not wrong to indulge either. Fan wars should never go in this ugly a route. One should remember which country these players represent- our country. So then what warrants a cricketer getting booed?” Ravichandran Ashwin said.

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Published: 30 Mar 2024, 05:44 PM IST

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