Hardik Pandya has been facing severe backlash from fans ever since he was appointed as the captain of the Mumbai Indians (MI), a position previously served by Rohit Sharma. The star all-rounder has faced booing from fans in all three games that MI have played so far in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

Meanwhile, Ravi Shastri feels that the backlash could have been reduced if the franchise had provided more straightforward communication when announcing their new captain. The former India head coach also mentioned that certain stories circulating, attributed to various individuals including himself, might have been planted.

“This is not the Indian cricket team that’s playing. This is franchise cricket. They have paid top dollar. They’re the bosses. It’s their entitlement as to who they want as captain,” said Shastri on Star Sports.

“Okay, where I think this could have been handled better was with more clarity in communication. If you wanted Hardik Pandya as captain, then say that we are looking at the future. We are looking to build. Rohit has done a fabulous job, as everyone knows, and we want him to help out Hardik in these next three years as the team progresses. 

Also Read: IPL 2024: Irfan Pathan wants ‘leader’ Hardik Pandya to do ‘difficult things’

That communication, that clarity should have come out a little more for all this to die down. So it’s not a case of you saying, ‘No, we don’t want Rohit Sharma,’ or ‘He was treated badly,’ and all the things that are coming out in social media. There’s a lot of bull crap out there as well. You know, and some of the stories are just planted. A lot of it is just planted on other people’s names, including my name,” he added.

Shastri then advised Hardik to remain composed and concentrate solely on his performance on the field. He emphasized that despite MI’s rough start under Hardik’s leadership, they remain a formidable team in the tournament. He also expressed optimism that if they can find their rhythm, they have the potential to turn their fortunes around dramatically. It’s worth mentioning that the five-time champions made a disappointing start, losing their first three games, and currently sit at the bottom of the points chart.

Also Read: ‘Hardik Pandya should focus on team combination’ – Navjot Singh Sidhu advices new Mumbai Indians skipper after RR defeat

“So my advice to Hardik would be to be calm, patient, ignore, and just focus on your game. Get a couple of performances going. Mumbai Indians is a terrific side. If they get on a roll, they win three or four matches on the trot, everything will subside. At the end of the day, nothing beats results. You win matches, and things will change,” the former cricketer said further.

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