Hardik Pandya Finally Asked Directly On Fan Boos, Australia Great Reveals Response

File photo of Hardik Pandya.© BCCI

With defeats in as many games in IPL 2024, Mumbai Indians (MI) Hardik Pandya return to the franchise hasn’t gone as planned. Hardik’s move to MI from Gujarat Titans, which eventually saw him take over captaincy from veteran Rohit Sharma, was met with a huge backlash from fans. Hardik has been constantly targetted by fans during the matches so far. He was booed by the fans on his return to Ahmedabad for MI’s opening game against the GT.

The trend continued in the matches against SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Rajasthan Royals (RR). Several ex-cricketers have come out in support of the all-rounder amid challenging times, on and off the field.

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke is the latest to offer his support to Hardik. Clarke, who played just one season in the IPL back in 2012, revealed his chat with Hardik and also shed light on the latter’s mindset.

Clarke labelled Hardik as a confident person, and suggested that he will manage to win over fans if MI can start getting good results.

“It doesn’t help when your team is not performing. I spoke to Hardik Pandya when I got over here and he seems like he is going fine. He’s a really confident sort of a person. He won’t allow this to get to him but he does need to get this team winning games of cricket. Mumbai is such a good team and there’s always high expectations. The fans want them at the top of the tree, but at the moment they are at the bottom,” Clarke said on ESPN’s Around the Wicket.

England pacer Stuart Broad also spoke about the slump that five-time champions Mumbai Indians find themselves in. He said the only way Mumbai Indians can stop what is happening inside the stadiums – incessant jeering of skipper Hardik Pandya by fans – is by winning matches.

“As a player it doesn’t bother you at all, to be honest. It’s part and parcel of international and top-flight sport,” Broad said.

“You don’t necessarily get that sort of environment and hostile feeling on your home ground. But I don’t think the atmosphere can affect you as a proven performer. You still need to go out and deliver your skill.” “Ultimately, Mumbai Indians is a winning franchise. It has got a winning mentality, and they’re not winning. That’s the most difficult thing they’re coping with at the moment. What they need to do is just get back on winning ways,” he said.

(With PTI Inputs)

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