Off The Field

Hardik Pandya smiling too much: Pietersen says Mumbai Indians skipper badly affected by boos, hatred

Written by Abhishek Patil

Kevin Pietersen has shared his blunt take on Hardik Pandya’s ongoing situation at Mumbai Indians with the fans booing in every venue including Wankhede Stadium. Hardik’s homecoming in Mumbai has not gone as planned for him as fans have not welcomed the franchise’s decision to make him the captain in place of Rohit Sharma who led them to joint-most five IPL titles. The flamboyant all-rounder has been facing the heat on the ground and on social media from cricket fans. The home fans at Wankhede Stadium have also booed him so loudly that even Rohit against RR and Virat Kohli in the RCB match had to ask the crowd to calm down a bit.

Pietersen slammed Hardik’s captaincy during the high-octane MI vs CSK clash, for not using his spinners when the pacers were getting hammered all around the park. Shreyas Gopal bowled just one over on Sunday, while Mohammad Nabi also didn’t finish his quota of overs.

“What I saw this evening wasn’t good enough. I saw a captain that had plan A from a team meeting that was five hours ago and a captain that didn’t want to go to plan B when he should have gone to plan B. Like how on this Earth have you not bowled a spinner when your seamers are going for 20. Brian Lara said can we please bowl a spinner? Somebody needs to bowl here. You need to change the pace of the game,” Pietersen said on Star Sports.

The former England captain asserted that Hardik is faking by smiling too much at the toss and during the fielding as the boos from the fans are affecting him. Pietersen, who was also a firing line of fans at a stage during his career, said that he knew how it feels when fans turned their back on you.

“I actually think with Hardik Pandya 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 in the firing line proper, he knows I’ve been in the firing line, you know, I’ve been in the firing line and I can tell you now, it affects you,” he added.

About the author

Abhishek Patil