'Hardik Pandya Should Be Given Time': MI Fans Open Up On Captaincy Saga & Backlash Towards Skipper; FPJ Exclusive

'Hardik Pandya Should Be Given Time': MI Fans Open Up On Captaincy Saga & Backlash Towards Skipper; FPJ Exclusive

Hardik Pandya took over the helm of the Mumbai Indians' team just a few weeks after being traded to his old franchise by Gujarat Titans ahead of the IPL 2024 Auction.

Hrishikesh DamodarUpdated: Tuesday, April 02, 2024, 09:49 PM IST
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MI skipper Hardik Pandya with his predecessor Rohit Sharma | Credits: Twitter

Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya have been in the news for all the wrong reasons ever since the beginning of team's campaign in IPL 2024. The star all-rounder received hostile reception from crowds in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. Even the Mumbai crowd didn't spare him as he was subjected to jeers and chants of Rohit Sharma during the match against Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium.

The Mumbai Indians' management decision to replace Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya angered many fans as they questioned the rationale behind sacking the former, who led the team to record five IPL titles. Hardik Pandya took over the helm of the Mumbai Indians' team just a few weeks after being traded to his old franchise by Gujarat Titans ahead of the IPL 2024 Auction.

Hardik Pandya is currently seen more as a villain in the eyes and minds of Mumbai Indians' fans just because he replaced Rohit Sharma as the team captain.

Ever since the change in Mumbai Indians' captaincy, there is an increasing support for Rohit Sharma while Hardik Pandya has been criticized for making the franchise remove the former as the captain of the team. The 30-year-old has been subjected to certain slangs like 'Chappri', which is a derogatory connotation to certain individuals who perceived to have low quality and crass in their personality.

Are jeers and derogatory remarks against Hardik Pandya justifiable?

The Free Press Journal asked Mumbai Indians' fans outside the Wankhede Stadium ahead of the clash against Rajasthan Royals. When we asked about backlash and derogatory remarks towards Hardik Pandya, fans defined it as an 'unjustifiable'

An MI fan was though unhappy with the way MI management handled the process of changing the captain, the boos and jeers toward Hardik Pandya was unfair. He added that Rohit Sharma could've captained the side for the first half of IPL since he is a skipper of India across all formats.

"I think it's a bit unjustifiable. The Mumbai fans are probably a little bit too emotional about it. The one thing that I didn't like personally was the way it was handled. I definitely think that it could have been handled better. At end of the day, Rohit Sharma is an Indian cricket team captain as well, in all formats. It's not an easy decision." a fan said.

"But I thought they could've done it a more gracefully. I think maybe Rohit could have captained the first half of the IPL and then probably handed over the baton over to Hardik Pandya, but the way it has happened, I think it looks like a bit of an unceremonious exit for Rohit Sharma from his captaincy," he added.

Another MI fan said that the franchise should have allowed Rohit Sharma to gracefully exit from the captaincy and hand over the baton to Hardik Pandya.

"He (Rohit Sharma) had a great captaincy run and we saw him winning five titles enjoyed under him and the way he took over the team India captaincy from Virat and in the same way, he should be allowed to make graceful captaincy exit and handed it to someday he can coach and guide." he said.

Hardik Pandya should be given more time

After Mumbai Indians' two successive defeats against Gujarat Titans and SunRisers Hyderabad, there have been calls from the fans that Hardik Pandya should step down as captain and hand the leadership role back to Rohit Sharma. However, there are MI fans who want Hardik Pandya to continue as captain, believing that he should be given time to prove himself.

"I want to give Hardik Pandya some time as he led Gujarat Titans to maiden title in their debut season and almost the second one except for the last over in the final. He is a proven player at the end of day. He is not someone who come from the street and then come to capital in Mumbai. He's won an IPL for his teams well and he's been a part of Mumbai Indians team when they won the IPL." an MI fan said.

Another MI fan stated that everyone should gather him since he is a proven captain and hoping that he wins the first IPL as Mumbai Indians captain.

" Hardik is a proven captain so everyone should gather behind him support him and make sure that the team is first and you know wins this year (IPL title)." he said.

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