Hardik Pandya gets booed by Gujarat Titans fans; Brian Lara gives idea on what Pandya can do to win fans back | Ipl News

Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya and Gujarat Titans' captain Shubman Gill during the toss for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Titans, at Narendra Modi Stadium, in Ahmedabad, Sunday, March 24, 2024. (PTI Photo)

Hardik Pandya was booed by Gujarat Titans fans on his return to the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday as he led the Mumbai Indians in their IPL 2024 opener.

There was more than one incident of Pandya being booed by the Gujarat Titans fans. He captained the Gujarat franchise with aplomb over the past two seasons: the Titans won the IPL title in their first ever season, and lost to Chennai Super Kings in the final last time around.

But in the off-season, Pandya was prised away by the Mumbai Indians in a hotly-debated transfer. The Mumbai franchise also chose to hand him the captaincy over longtime skipper Rohit Sharma, which cause further debate in the Mumbai fanbase.

But what the Gujarat fans thought of the transfer was evident when their former captain was out in the field at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium.

A chorus of boos rang out as Pandya walked out for the toss before the GT vs MI clash. Pandya, captaining the Mumbai Indians franchise, won the toss and elected to field first.

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Later, as he dived to field a ball, but the ball bounced off him, the fans again booed him.

When the second incident happened, Ian Bishop couldn’t help but wonder out aloud: “What can he do to win them back?”

Brian Lara, who was on commentary duty with Bishop at the time, responded: “Play for India….the next time they play here.”

Why Hardik Pandya moved to Mumbai

Titans head coach Ashish Nehra had recently said that he “never tried” to convince Hardik to stay back at the franchise.

“I never tried to convince Hardik to stay back. I could have stopped him had he been going to some other team. [But] he played for that team for five or six years,” Nehra had said.

Pandya was one of the key players in the Mumbai Indians squad who played a role in four of the Mumbai franchise’s IPL trophies.

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