‘Hardik Pandya will be booed even louder’: Former India star’s warning on MI’s first home game | Cricket News

Former Indian cricketer Manoj Tiwary expects Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya to be booed “a little louder” when the team plays its first IPL home game here on April 1, but he feels the extravagant all-rounder has the temperament to handle it. Pandya, who replaced Rohit Sharma as MI captain before the start of the season, was booed by fans in Ahmedabad when the team played against his former franchise Gujarat Titans on Sunday.

MI lost the game by six runs and will face Rajasthan Royals in their first home game at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday next week.

“…you have to see how he is welcomed here in Mumbai because I think he will be booed a little louder here…Because as a fan, a Mumbai fan or a Rohit Sharma fan, no one expected that he will be captain.” “This has been given to Hardik,” Tiwary said in an interview with PTI Videos.

“And despite giving five trophies to Mumbai Indians, Rohit has to lose the captaincy. I don’t know what the reasons are, but I think it didn’t go over well with the fans. And that’s the reaction you see on the field,” he explained.

However, Tiwary is impressed with how Pandya handled the backlash from fans.

“…knowing him, I’ve seen on TV lately that despite being booed, he has kept his calm and his nerve, which is a sign of good temperament,” he said.

The 38-year-old, who is West Bengal’s sports minister, said Pandya needs to cut through the noise and focus on his performance so that he is in good shape for the T20 World Cup, which begins in America on June 1.

“I think even if he wasn’t booed, he has to perform well to be included in the Indian team to play in the World Cup. Because it is important that all players perform well and are fit to be available for selection.”

“And he is the number one all-rounder…of course he has to be in shape and to be in shape he has to perform,” he said.

Tiwary appeared for the Delhi franchise in the IPL and is closely watching how his former team deals with Rishabh Pant’s comeback from a life-threatening car accident in 2022.

He believes that the batsman will return to his devastating best very soon thanks to the franchise’s unwavering support.

“First of all, he won’t be a burden. In fact, it will have a more positive impact that he brings with him because as a player, he is one of the most talented cricketers in India, even in world cricket right now,” he stressed.

“Obviously he didn’t show his best playing ability in the first game, but that’s obvious because it’s not easy after coming back from injury… But the intention of him was good. In a few more games he will be back to his elements as a match winner,” said Tiwary.

Tiwary said the support of coach Ricky Ponting and mentor Sourav Ganguly was a key factor in Pant’s comeback.

“Since last year, the team’s coach Ricky Ponting has brought him into the dugout…if we can all remember, Sourav Ganguly said two months ago that he will be the captain.”

“So if the mentor and the coach want him in the team very early on, that means they don’t see him as a liability. Even if he doesn’t score runs, he is still their captain, he is their leader,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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