‘Hardik Pandya is happy with people doing it. In coming matches..’: Ishan Kishan on MI captain getting booed in IPL 2024 | Crickit
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‘Hardik Pandya is happy with people doing it. In coming matches..’: Ishan Kishan on MI captain getting booed in IPL 2024

Apr 12, 2024 05:41 PM IST

Ishan Kishan believes it won't take much time for MI captain Hardik Pandya to turn the fans in his favour as he loves challenges.

The road to redemption for Hardik Pandya has begun. One can see it in his performance and also the positive results for Mumbai Indians. After losing a hat-trick of matches to start IPL 2024, MI have now beaten the Delhi Capitals and the Royal Challengers Bengaluru to bring their campaign back on track. What's even more heartening to see is captain Hardik's performance with the bat.

Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya during the IPL match against Royal Challengers Bengaluru(PTI)
Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya during the IPL match against Royal Challengers Bengaluru(PTI)

Criticised for his slow strike rate in the middle overs, Hardik walked out against RCB to prove a point. With the bulk of the damage done by Ishan Kishan (69 off 34) and Suryakumar Yadav (52 off 19) with their blistering half-centuries, Hardik made sure there was no letup in the intensity by smashing a 6-ball 21* with three sixes. He also hit a six off Akash Deep's bowling to finish the match.

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MI chased down the 199-run target inside 16 overs with 7 wickets in hand. That's quite a statement from a franchise which was being written off very early in the tournament and its captain heckled, booed and abused everywhere he went.

The latter didn't change much even on Thursday. Hardik was booed when he came on to bowl in the 10th over of the RCB innings. There was unfavourable noise whenever the ball went to him in the field. The boos returned when he came out to bat. But as soon as Virat Kohli requested the crowd to cheer for Hardik instead of booing him, things slowly but surely started to change.

Ishan Kishan believes it won't take much time for Hardik to turn the tide in his favour as he loves challenges.

“He (Pandya) loves challenges, he has been in this situation before and he is in that situation right now. He is not someone who will come out and talk about it and say let’s stop this or that,” Kishan told the media here after MI defeated RCB by seven wickets.

'Hardik enjoying the challenge, will win fans back': Ishan Kishan

Kishan, who has seen Hardik from close quarters, said a part of the MI captain must be relishing and enjoying the boos.

“I know that he must be enjoying it. I know him personally. I have spent a lot of time with him. He is ready for the challenges because you cannot complain to the fans, they will come up with their explanations and their point of view,” Kishan added.

Kishan said the 29-year-old all-rounder could turn all anger around with his performances. “But knowing how Hardik Pandya thinks, he is happy with people doing it but I know that in the coming games, he will do it with the bat and people will start loving him (again),” he said.

Kishan highlighted Indian fans' tendency to recognise the hard work of a cricketer, irrespective of their personal feelings towards him.

“People also recognise your hard work, what you are going through and still you are doing so well for your team. I think people do recognise that." “Our fans will be a little harsh on you but at the same time when you do well, or when you show that it is (still) not bothering you and (that) you are in a very good headspace, that might change. If not today, tomorrow. If not tomorrow, the day after tomorrow," he said.

Kishan said Pandya's focus was on improving his outings. “I feel happy about him that even in this situation he is so keen on performing, hitting six on the very first ball knowing that things can go a different way and people will question you again. But that is something which Hardik has in himself and other players don’t,” Kishan noted.

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