Hardik's 'inept, scattered' bowling against Dhoni leaves legends fuming; raises 'fitness' question amid T20WC audition | Crickit
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Hardik's 'inept, scattered' bowling against Dhoni leaves legends fuming; raises 'fitness' question amid T20WC audition

Apr 15, 2024 12:04 PM IST

Hardik Pandya was smashed for 26 runs in CSK's last over, of which 20 runs were scored by MS Dhoni.

Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya's fitness has been questioned yet again after the all-rounder conceded 26 runs in the final over of Chennai Super Kings' innings in the IPL 2024 clash on Sunday at the Wankhede Stadium. Off those runs, 20 were smashed by MS Dhoni, who laced three sixes to stitch another explosive cameo, a knock that eventually stood as the difference between the two sides as MI lost by the exact same margin in the chase of 207.

Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya during the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Sunday(PTI)
Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya during the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Sunday(PTI)

Following the loss, former India cricketer Irfan Pathan fumed at Hardik's decision to bowl the last over despite Akash Madhwal, who has been impressive in the death overs for MI, having an over left. The former all-rounder also savaged the Mumbai captain for his inept bowling against Dhoni, as he questioned his ability to bowl in the slog overs.

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“Hardik Pandya bowling the last over showed the lack of faith on Akash Madhwal’s bowling and his own lack of skill as a death over bowler,” he tweeted.

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Unlike Pathan, former Australia cricketer Adam Gilchrist, in conversation with Cricbuzz, did not criticise Hardik's decision to take the ball for the final over, saying that it only showed his confidence, but did reckon that the “scattered” bowling against Dhoni showed that he is not completely fit to bowl.

"The only positive about Hardik Pandya and his bowling was that he was prepared to take on the challenge. I am captain, I am gonna have a crack but then he looks proppy, as we use in Australian sporting terms, you are not quite fluent. He does not look anywhere near 100 percent fit with the ball in hand and if there is any doubt about the physicality. His bowling was scattered," Gilchrist said.

This was the second time that an expert has raised concerns over Hardik's fitness in terms of bowling amid the auditions for the T20 World Cup. Earlier last week, after the MI skipper bowled just one over in previous three games, former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull alleged that Hardik is hiding.

Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee too did not lash out at the Hardik's decision to bowl the last over, but said that “in hindsight, it turned out to be a wrong decision."

He said on Jio Cinema: “If he came in and bowled two bit of yorkers, contained him for eight runs, made people wicket, that's a great cap scene. So I could see that ownership of him trying to look after his bowler at the other end, mud wall, saying, well, I don't want to put him under any more pressure. Going for twelve and a half and over, I'll do it by myself. But it turned out it wasn't the right call. And he has to live by that. Has to live by that.”

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