AB de Villiers Takes A Dig At MI Fans, Praises Hardik Pandya’s Redemption
By CricShots - Jul 4, 2024 5:48 pm
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AB de Villiers, the legendary South African cricketer, has heaped praise on Hardik Pandya following India’s historic T20 World Cup victory. De Villiers, known for his explosive batting, acknowledged Pandya’s journey through criticism and emerged as a key figure in India’s triumph. De Villiers, speaking on his YouTube channel, highlighted the challenges Pandya faced, particularly with the Mumbai Indians (MI) fanbase after his move from Gujarat Titans (GT) in IPL 2024.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya was crucial for India’s T20 World Cup triumph

AB de Villiers subtly criticized the MI fans who, according to him, “trolled and jeered” Pandya despite his national team success. However, the narrative completely changed during the T20 World Cup final. Entrusted with the crucial final over by captain Rohit Sharma, Pandya rose to the occasion, successfully defending 15 runs against South Africa. This display, under immense pressure, earned him De Villiers’ admiration.

“He made everyone proud out there,” AB de Villiers stated, acknowledging Pandya’s silencing of his doubters. De Villiers even playfully admitted a tinge of disappointment at Pandya’s success against his home nation, South Africa.

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For AB de Villiers, Pandya’s final overperformance was a defining moment. It solidified his reputation as a player who thrives under pressure. He believes that even the MI fans, who previously questioned Pandya’s leadership as captain, might now see him in a new light.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers

“He is a big man for a big moment and that’s exactly the way he played,” AB de Villiers said, emphasizing Pandya’s ability to deliver when it matters most. De Villiers concluded his message with a playful jab at the MI fans, urging them to embrace Pandya after his World Cup heroics.

Hardik Pandya’s World Cup performance was a culmination of his all-round abilities. He finished the tournament with a strike rate of over 150, scoring 144 runs, and also chipped in with 11 crucial wickets. His contribution with both bat and ball was instrumental in India’s victory.

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AB de Villiers’ comments highlight the transformative power of performance in cricket. Pandya, who faced criticism earlier in the year, has silenced his doubters and emerged as a national hero. The roar of the Indian crowd and the respect of a legendary batsman like De Villiers are testaments to Pandya’s remarkable journey and his ability to deliver on the biggest stage.