‘Not Genuine, Ego-driven’ Hardik Pandya’s Captaincy Not For Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah: IPL Great

On Thursday, an interesting report said that the Mumbai Indians camp may not be a happy place due to Hardik Pandya‘s captaincy. The report said that senior members of MI questioned the functioning of the five-time champions under new skipper Hardik Pandya. MI are the first team to get officially knocked out of the IPL 2024 playoff race. It’s a far-cry from the time when MI used to dominate the IPL. The report added that key MI players felt that due to Hardik Pandya’s captaincy, there was a “lack of buzz” in the dressing room..

AB De Villiers delved into details, as per Indian Express, about how MI’s campaign went in IPL 2024.

“MI have been very disappointing. I backed them from the start to qualify for the knockout stages, but that will not happen. What has gone wrong? Last four seasons – 5th in 2021, 10th in 2022, 4th in 2023 and 9th. Last game was good but it was too little too late. So Rohit Sharma says, ‘I have played under a lot of captains. It’s nothing new. You do what you are required to do and I have been doing that for the last one month.’ You can read a little bit into that if you want to,” he said on his YouTube channel.

“The captaincy style of Hardik Pandya is quite bravado. It’s ego-driven in a way, chest out. I don’t think how he walks on the field is always genuinely real to the person that he really is, but he has decided that is his way of captaincy. Almost like MS. Cool, calm, collective, always smiling, got your chest out. But when you play with a lot of experienced players, guys who have been around for ages, they don’t buy into that. It worked at GT, where it was a younger team. Sometimes, inexperienced players love to follow that kind of leadership.”

De Villiers suggested that with stalwarts like Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah in the side that may not have been the best strategy.

“I think of Graeme Smith. He was out there for the team. All I needed to do as a youngster was to follow. Now there’s a Rohit, there’s a Bumrah. They go like, ‘All we need you to be is calm. Give us a bit of input on how to win matches. We don’t need the bravado’. I’m not having a go at Hardik. I love watching him play. I love him putting out his chest because I also did that. I believed that as a batter, sometimes you’ve got to fake it to make it. When you are most scared or feeling the heat of the battle, I can’t be the timid, soft-spoken AB I am. The only way to counter that is put your chest out, to make eye contact with the opposition. If you then lose it, you gotta lick your wounds. But if you cross the hurdle, it adds to your confidence,” de Villiers said.

“Hardik has understood that. But it takes a special senior player to buy into that. You know what? You fake it, and we’ll follow. Don’t think that has clicked this season for MI. Remmeber I am just guessing. That doesn’t mean it is the fact.”

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