Game-changer: MI will look for runs from Rohit.

Game-changer: MI will look for runs from Rohit.

 All along in Mumbai Indians’ illustrious IPL journey, MI Paltan — its fan army, especially at home games — has played the 12th man role to perfection.

Fan army’s role

Come Monday and the role of the fan army at the Wankhede Stadium could well be decisive for Mumbai Indians’ fate for the season and Hardik Pandya’s new avatar as the team’s captain.

As if facing an on-song batting unit and a well-oiled bowling machine of Rajasthan Royals is not challenging enough, whether the Paltan continues to repose its faith in the home team despite the upheaval over leadership change will be worth pondering over.

Social media backlash

If social media backlash was just an indication, the manner in which Hardik has been booed during MI’s away games (in Ahmedabad or Hyderabad) has indicated the fans’ wrath. The new MI skipper — who was missing from Sunday’s training along with pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah — will be hoping for the fans to welcome him after representing Gujarat Titans for the last two editions.

Besides being wary about the reception, Hardik along with the think-tank will be hoping for a quick turnaround for its bowling unit which conceded the most runs in IPL history in its last encounter against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

And none of the MI bowlers would have forgotten the hundred that Yashasvi Jaiswal scored when the teams squared off against each other at the Big W last April.

The boys in pink will be hoping for Jaiswal — who has had a dream run across formats since IPL 2023 — to repeat last year’s heroics.


Source link