Hardik Pandya ‘Going To Get Booed Louder’ In Mumbai: Manoj Tiwari


Hardik Pandya, the newly-appointed Mumbai Indians (MI) captain, will be booed louder at home than he was booed in their IPL 2024 campaign opener against Gujarat Titans (GT) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, reckons ex-India batter Manoj Tiwari. Notably, MI lost their campaign opener by 6 runs but have some time before they play their first match at home.

MI’s first match at home at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai is scheduled to be played on April 1. Tiwari reckons that even though Pandya could be booed, he has the temperament to deal with the situation.

“…you have to see how he gets welcomed here in Mumbai because I think he is going to get booed a bit louder here…Because as a fan, Mumbai fan or a Rohit Sharma fan, nobody expected that captaincy will be given to Hardik,” Tiwary told PTI Videos in an interview.

“And despite Rohit giving five trophies to Mumbai Indians, he has to lose the captaincy. I don’t know what are the reasons but I think it has not gone down well with the fans. And that is the reaction which you see on the field,” he explained.

Manoj Tiwari Impressed With How Pandya Dealt With Fan Backlash

The former Bengal captain was impressed with how the all-rounder managed to deal with all the backlash from the fans, many of whom were not too impressed with the franchise deciding to replace five-time tournament winning captain Rohit Sharma.

“…knowing him, whatever I have been observing of late through television, that despite getting booed, he kept his calm, he kept his nerve, which is the sign of a good temperament,” he said.

“I believe even if he was not booed, he has to perform well to get into the Indian team to play the World cup. Because it is important for all the players to perform well and be fit as well to be available for selection.

“And him being the number one all-rounder…obviously he has to be in form and to be in form he has to perform,” he said.

Rishabh Pant Will Not Be Any Burden For Delhi Capitals

Former Delhi Capitals star, Tiwari, is keeping a close eye on Rishabh Pant who marks a return to competitive cricket with IPL 2024.

“First of all, he’s not going to be any burden. In fact, it’s going to be more positive impact which he brings along with him because as a player, he’s one of the most talented cricketers in India, in fact in the world cricket right now,” Bengal’s sports minister said.

“Obviously in the first game, he did not look at his fluent best but that is obvious because it’s not easy after coming back from injury…But the intent was good from him. With a few more matches, he will be back in his elements as a match-winner,” he added.

“From last year itself, the coach of the team, Ricky Ponting, brought him into the dugout…if we all can recollect, two months ago, Sourav Ganguly said that he’s going to be the captain.

“So when the mentor and the coach wants him in the team from very early, that means they are not thinking him as a burden. Even if he doesn’t score runs, he is still their captain, he is their leader,” he said. 

(With Inputs From PTI)


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