Sunil Gavaskar calls Hardik Pandya’s captaincy and bowling ‘absolutely ordinary’

NEW DELHI: Hardik Pandya’s woes as the captain of the Mumbai Indians just do not seem to be ending. After the Mumbai team, helmed by Hardik started to string together a couple of wins to stead the ship, they crashed and burned at home against the Chennai Super Kings, who defeated them by 20 runs at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
What was particularly ego bruising for Hardik was CSK star Mahendra Singh Dhoni smacking him for three consecutive sixes in the final over of the Chennai innings. And the Wankhede faithful, who have still not warmed up to the concept of Hardik as the Mumbai Indians captain, cheered with gusto as Hardik’s bowling was being put to the sword.
After that effort, things got even worse for Hardik as former cricketers, including legends like Sunil Gavaskar, slammed his performance as a captain and bowler too.
Gavaskar, in particular, laid into Hardik for getting hit for three back-to-back sixes.
“One six is fine. The next one again a length ball when you know that this batter is looking for a length ball to hit. The third ball again, a full toss on the leg side and he’s looking for it and hits it for a six. Absolutely ordinary bowling, ordinary captaincy. I do believe the CSK team should have been restricted for 185 or 190,” Gavaskar said during his analysis in the mid-innings break.
Former England star Kevin Pietersen also joined in, questioning Hardik’s lack of second idea when things were not working well.
“What I saw this evening was not good enough. I saw a captain that had a plan A from a team meeting that was five hours ago and the captain didn’t want to go to Plan B when he should have. How on earth have you not bowled a spinner when your seamers are going for 20 runs?! Brain Lara was saying on commentary, ‘Can we please bowl spinners?’ They have spinners that can bowl. You need to change the pace of the game. I think with Hardik, everything away from the game is affecting him so much. He’s smiling too much when he does the toss. He’s trying to act like he’s so happy. He’s not happy! I’ve been there. I’ve been in the firing line and I’ve been there proper! I can you that it affects you. What’s happening with Hardik Pandya… the boos we have been hearing now and how happy they are to see Dhoni smacking him all over the park, it hurts you. He has emotions, he’s an Indian player. He doesn’t want to be treated like this. With this happening, it’s affecting him and his cricket. Something needs to happen,” said Kevin Pietersen.
Meanwhile, Irfan Pathan tweeted: “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.”

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