IPL 2024
Hardik Pandya Faces Backlash Over Deciding Fielding Position of Rohit Sharma
By CricShots - Mar 25, 2024 2:26 pm
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Hardik Pandya’s captaincy debut for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024 stirred controversy as he made an unconventional fielding call during a crucial moment against Gujarat Titans. In a surprising move, Pandya directed former skipper Rohit Sharma to the field outside the 30-yard circle during the last over of the Titans’ innings.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya was booed at the toss

This decision drew ire from Mumbai Indians supporters and intensified the spotlight on Pandya’s leadership style. Replacing Rohit Sharma as captain, Pandya faced immense scrutiny from fans and pundits alike. His decision to alter the field positioning, particularly involving Rohit, sparked a wave of criticism.

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Rohit Sharma, typically stationed within the inner circle, had to relocate to the boundary ropes as instructed by Pandya. The unusual sight of the Indian cricketing stalwart adjusting to this change left many fans disconcerted. The incident unfolded during the IPL clash at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, where Pandya’s actions were met with vocal disapproval from the audience.

The scenario attracted attention not only from spectators but also from commentators, including Kevin Pietersen, who remarked on the rare instance of an Indian player facing such vocal dissent.

However, Pandya’s captaincy debut was marred by more than just tactical decisions. Despite a promising partnership between Dewald Brevis and Rohit, Mumbai Indians faltered in their chase of Gujarat Titans’ target of 169 runs. Pandya himself faced criticism for his batting position and bowling choices, particularly opting to open the bowling instead of deploying the renowned Jasprit Bumrah earlier in the innings.

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Ultimately, Mumbai Indians fell short by six runs, failing to capitalize on a solid start. Pandya’s knock, ending with a crucial dismissal in the final over, compounded the team’s woes. The defeat not only raised questions about Pandya’s leadership decisions but also intensified scrutiny on Mumbai Indians’ overall strategy and performance.