IPL 2024
Mark Boucher defends Hardik Pandya’s captaincy after a poor season
By SMCS - May 19, 2024 9:15 am
Views 20

Mark Boucher has shared that Hardik Pandya would be disappointed with his own performance as a captain and also as a player this IPL but he also maintained that he had the full support of the Mumbai Indians dressing room. Notably, Pandya’s appointment as captain of Mumbai Indians came before the start of the season and faced controversy. As a batter, he managed 216 runs in 14 games at a low average of 18 and took 11 wickets at an economy rate of 10.75 as well.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya pulled off a cold celebration

“I think if he was here, he’d also be disappointed in his performance,” the Mumbai Indians head coach said after the team lost to Lucknow Super Giants at the Wankhede. “From a captain’s perspective, I thought he had some good games. There’s a lot of stuff going on around him that may have clouded his thoughts which is tough on him as a leader as well. He certainly had a lot of support within our dressing room and guys were trying to help him out.”

“It’s a tough thing to go through as a player and there was a lot of sympathy for what he was going through. A lot of stuff that he was going through personally. I think it may be a little uncalled for and you know, it is what it is. It’ll certainly be a learning curve for Hardik in his growth in leadership. I think a couple of things will pass and they’ll make him a tougher leader and he’ll certainly grow in the role as well. So I still think there’s some fantastic things coming for Hardik Pandya as a leader. The cricketing side of things, you guys will know the stats,” Boucher noted.

He also shared the issue of booing that Hardik Pandya received from the stands wherever he went. Notably, fans booed Pandya throughout the tournament.

ALSO READ: Kirti Azad welcomes BCCI’s new directive in central contract

He added, “Yes, it wasn’t great hearing all the boos. I felt sorry for Hardik. It’s never nice to have to go through something like that. Yeah, there’s certain things that we need to address and as I said, we are going to address them. But now is not probably the right time. Everyone’s very disappointed and emotional, so no good decision will get made.”

The coach also opined on Rohit Sharma, who has had an average season as a batter, scoring 417 runs at an average of 32.06 with a strike rate of exactly 150. He had scored a brilliant century against Chennai Super Kings but besides that, he had a score of only one fifty as well.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians (MI)

“It’s sort of almost a season of two halves. He started off the season really well, was hitting the ball sweetly in the nets, got a great hundred against CSK as well. So we honestly thought that he was on a great path for us to go out there and get some good runs for us. Unfortunately, you know, it’s just the nature of T20 as well. He went out there trying to be aggressive, which is the new sort of way of playing as an opening batter, and he got a couple of low scores, which unfortunately didn’t help us in that particular situation as well,” Mark Boucher further added.

“I’m not too sure where I’m going, to be honest with you. As I said, it’s quite early days at the moment. A lot of people are emotional. There’s probably going to be discussions about all of us. I don’t think there’s only one person. We’re in a high performance zone. And I think that, you know, when you underperform, you need to get looked at. So anything I can do is give my best as a coach, which is exactly what I’ve done. I’ve got no regrets with what I’ve done over here. Could I have done things better? We’ll sit down and evaluate that as we do with all the players as well,” he stated.

READ ALSO: Michael Vaughan praises Team India after series win over England

Mark Boucher also joined the franchise, which won the title five times, last year when the team finished fourth. This year they finished at the bottom of the points table in the 10-team competition.

“That is a cause for concern and certainly something that we need to address as a franchise, and I’m sure we will. Mumbai Indians is a very successful franchise for a reason. When you see trends like that you know, then you do. You sit down and you evaluate, you do a review. You have to sit down and make some changes and make some big calls, which I know for a fact that we’re not scared of doing,” Mark Boucher concluded.