‘I felt Hardik did not want to face Rashid’: Irfan Pathan blames Pandya’s poor captaincy for Mumbai Indians loss | Cricket News

Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya walks back after getting out against Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has made a scathing attack on Mumbai Indians’ newly-appointed captain Hardik Pandya after their loss against Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Former India all-rounder says not giving the new ball to Jasprit Bumrah and promoting Tim David ahead of him were the two blunders Hardik Pandya made on his captaincy debut for Mumbai Indians.

No Bumrah with the new ball

Hardik Pandya bowled two overs up front with the new ball and the Mumbai Indians captain gave away 20 runs from his first two overs.

“Hardik Pandya made big mistakes in the match. In the powerplay, he bowled 2 overs himself, that was a big mistake. He brought Jasprit Bumrah into the attack a bit late,” Irfan Pathan said.

Mumbai Indians' Jasprit Bumrah celebrates the wicket of Gujarat Titans' David Miller during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Titans, at Narendra Modi Stadium, in Ahmedabad Mumbai Indians’ Jasprit Bumrah celebrates the wicket of Gujarat Titans’ David Miller during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Titans, at Narendra Modi Stadium, in Ahmedabad. (PTI)

Bumrah was brought into the attack in the fourth over and he yorked dangerous-looking Wriddhiman Saha in his first over.

Festive offer

On his return to the IPL, the superstar pacer produced a masterclass in T20 bowling as he registered figures of 3/14, conceding just one four in his four-over spell.

The wickets he picked up: Wriddhiman Saha, breaking the opening partnership that had given Gujarat Titans a good start; David Miller, one of the most dangerous finishers in the T20 game; Sai Sudharsan, well set in the middle but gone in the same over as Miller. All three dismissals played a significant role in reducing GT’s potential total.

Promoting Tim David

Pathan also lambasted Pandya for promoting Tim David ahead of him and accused him of being afraid of Rashid Khan. David scored a 10-ball 11.

“When they were chasing, they sent Tim David higher up the order. He sent Tim David when Rashid Khan had an over left,” said Pathan.

“I felt Hardik Pandya maybe didn’t want to face Rashid Khan after having not played cricket for a long time.

“This could be the case. I won’t agree with the fact that there was an experienced Indian batter sitting in the dressing room and sent an overseas player under pressure against Rashid.”

With 19 needed of the last over, Hardik Pandya smoked Umesh Yadav for a six and a four in the first two balls. However, the veteran pacer kept his cool and picked up two wickets in the next two deliveries to complete the heist for the Titans, who are yet to lose against the five-time champions at their home venue.

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