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Riyan Parag Praises Hardik Pandya Amidst Fan Criticism And Boos In IPL 2024
By CricShots - Jun 4, 2024 11:26 am
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Ahead of India’s first match in the T20 World Cup 2024, Rajasthan Royals (RR) all-rounder Riyan Parag has lauded India vice-captain Hardik Pandya. Despite facing a challenging phase in his cricketing career, Pandya remains an influential figure, and Parag acknowledged he is not in a position to offer advice to someone of Pandya’s calibre.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

The cricketing world saw a major shift when Hardik Pandya was named the captain of the Mumbai Indians (MI) for the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, taking over from the legendary Rohit Sharma, who had led the team to an unprecedented five IPL titles. However, the decision was met with disapproval from MI fans, who expressed their dissatisfaction across various social media platforms.

Throughout the IPL 2024 season, Pandya faced a torrent of criticism, including being booed at MI’s home ground, the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The season turned out to be a nightmare for the 30-year-old all-rounder, as MI became the first team to be eliminated, securing only four wins out of 14 matches. This poor performance subjected Pandya to relentless trolling, adding to the pressure he was already under.

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On “The Ranveer Show” podcast, Riyan Parag spoke candidly about his inability to offer guidance to Pandya, citing Pandya’s significant contributions to Indian cricket as the reason.

Riyan Parag, who has also faced his share of criticism for underperformance, was clear about the disparity in their careers. He stated, “I am nowhere near Hardik Pandya, first of all. Hardik has done insane things for our country. People forget that in a jiffy. Hardik has won you games in the World Cup and has won you trophies, so let’s not even compare me and Hardik.”

 

The IPL 2024 season was a tough one for Pandya, reflected in his performance stats. He managed to score only 216 runs with an average of 18 and a strike rate of 143.05. His bowling also suffered, as he took 11 wickets but conceded runs at an expensive economy rate of 10.75. This dip in form was a significant factor in MI’s disappointing season.

In contrast, Riyan Parag had a memorable moment in the same tournament when he scored an unbeaten 54 runs off 39 balls for the Rajasthan Royals against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium. His performance, featuring five boundaries and three sixes, helped RR chase down a target of 126 runs with four wickets and 27 balls to spare.

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After the match, Riyan Parag was seen in conversation with Pandya, discussing how to handle scrutiny and manage similar situations. Parag expressed immense respect for Pandya, referring to him as “one of the best cricketers in the world right now.” He elaborated on their conversation, saying, “All I was talking with him (Hardik) was how he was dealing with it (scrutiny), how I should be dealing with it if I was in a similar situation and basic cricket in general. That’s all I was talking about.”

In a promising turn of events, Pandya played a brisk innings of 40 runs off 23 balls in India’s T20 World Cup warm-up match against Bangladesh, indicating a return to form. His performance could be crucial for India as they aim to clinch the T20 World Cup title, a feat they have not achieved in 17 years.