'When he performs against Pakistan, everyone will praise him': Hardik Pandya finds backing from Raina after IPL horror | Crickit
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'When he performs against Pakistan, everyone will praise him': Hardik Pandya finds backing from Raina after IPL horror

May 20, 2024 11:21 AM IST

Suresh Raina had a big remark on Hardik Pandya as the all-rounder struggled with his form throughout IPL 2024.

Hardik Pandya endured a poor Indian Premier League campaign in 2024. It was a controversy-ridden campaign for the side from start to finish, with Mumbai Indians ending at the bottom of the table with only four wins. Things were unsettled at the MI camp even before the first ball was bowled in IPL 2024; Hardik Pandya's appointment as captain didn't go down well with many Mumbai Indians fans, who lashed out at the upper management following the decision.

Mumbai Indians batter Hardik Pandya reacts after his dismissal during the IPL 2024 cricket match between Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians(PTI)
Mumbai Indians batter Hardik Pandya reacts after his dismissal during the IPL 2024 cricket match between Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians(PTI)

Things didn't change when the season began, with Hardik being booed at Wankhede Stadium during the first few matches in the season. It didn't help the all-rounder that his own performances were far below satisfactory levels. In 14 matches, Pandya scored 216 runs at an average of 18.00 and a strike rate of 143.04, with the best score of 46. He also took 11 wickets at poor average of 35.18 and economy rate of 10.75.

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Hardik did, however, secure a spot in Team India's squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, but there are questions looming over the star all-rounder's form as the side heads into the tournament next month. However, former India star Suresh Raina wasn't too concerned with Hardik's struggles, stating that the all-rounder has turned up for India before and all will be forgotten when he “performs against Pakistan.”

“He has done really well (for India). Temporary poor form does not make someone bad. When he will perform well against Pakistan in the World Cup, everyone will praise him,” Raina said, as quoted by ANI.

Hardik has been a key member of the Indian T20I team throughout the past couple of years; he led the team in 2023 in the absence of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, as the duo focussed extensively on the ODI World Cup. The senior stars returned to T20Is earlier this year with the bilateral series against Afghanistan, with Rohit reassuming the captaincy duties.

Hardik vice-captain at T20 WC

There will be a change in leadership for Hardik when he joins the Indian team; after leading Rohit Sharma in the IPL, he will be playing under the star opener at the T20 World Cup where India will be chasing their first ICC title in 11 years.

The all-rounder was named Rohit's deputy for the marquee tournament; India will begin their campaign in the World Cup against Ireland on June 5, and will meet arch-rivals Pakistan on 8.

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