Hardik Pandya remains the man in news, but not for the right reasons. Ever since he took up the captaincy of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians, he has had to face extreme criticism from fans. Seeing their beloved Rohit Sharma being sacked from the leadershpi role, fans have been booing and even abusing Hardik on the ground. Mumbai Indians’ results in the IPL 2024 campaign haven’t helped Hardik either, with the franchise losing three games on the trot. Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan, in a cryptic post on X (formerly) Twitter seemed to have targeted Hardik after he failed to captialise on his fine start in the match against Rajasthan Royals on Monday.

In a series of posts on X, Irfan explained how it is important for the leader to do the hard thing for the team if he is to earn the team’s respect.

“People who understand the game well know this. If you are set, you got to see the team through,” Irfan wrote in the first post.

“You always want your Leader to do the difficult things. If he doesn’t do it he won’t earn his team’s respect,” his second post read.

Hardik, after MI suffered their third consecutive defeat of the season, admitted that his dismissal in the match changed the course of the game.

“Yes, a tough night, we didn’t start the way we wanted to start. I wanted to counter, we were in a decent position to get us around 150-160, but my wicket allowed them to get back more into the game, I needed to do a lot more. It’s okay, we didn’t expect such a surface, but you can’t always have it as a batter, it’s nice at times for the bowlers to have a say.

“It’s all about doing the right things, (correct) results happen at times, at some other times it doesn’t. As a group, we believe we can do a lot better, but we need to be a bit more disciplined and show a lot more courage,” Hardik said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

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