Mumbai Indians went down against Rajasthan Royals to lose three in three in the IPL 2024 so far and stand at the bottom-most place in the points table.

Speaking exclusively on this week’s edition of ‘Star Sports Press Room’, England pace bowling legend Stuart Broad weighs in on the uproar faced by Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya during the ongoing IPL 2024“Yeah, it’s been a really interesting atmosphere towards Hardik, the first couple of games, with the crowds, but ultimately they’ve been away from home. So, when you play for a big franchise like Mumbai Indians, it’s like when I play for England against Australia, you expect to go away from home and get hostile crowds.

We’ve seen in this IPL so far, the home teams have been dominating and that’s got a lot to do with atmospheres. As a player, it’s important that you don’t just look to ignore it and pretend it’s not going to happen. You have to mentally steel yourself for that sort of atmosphere. I think where it might be quite hurting for Hardik is if the Mumbai fans do it; that will be a really interesting sort of play for him because he’s so passionate about playing for Mumbai Indians.

He feels like he has the full support and backing of the Wankhede Stadium. So, I think that’s where he may need to steel his mindset. Ultimately, in professional sports, if you are playing for a winning team, if you are winning games, that’s what you have to focus on. If your mind actually drags you to wondering to what the crowd is going to do, or how the atmosphere is going to be towards you as a player, ultimately, you are not making the right tactical decision.”

“If I am brutally honest towards Hardik and Mumbai Indians so far, they have made some tactically quite poor decisions. They are not using Bumrah quite in the right ways; the best T20 bowler in the world. You have to strike with him. Even to the first ball of their IPL campaign, Hardik bowling the first over, that was tactically the wrong choice. When you have leaders like Jasprit Bumrah, get him to set the tone, get him to try and take a wicket with the first ball of the innings, and get the energy behind you like that. Even Hardik’s batting, if he were to come in and lead the group, get up at No. 5 and go and score some runs. Ultimately, he probably just has to make sure he starts getting his tactical decisions correct and starts winning games. That only unites your team and unites your fans.”

Stuart Broad explains the form that Kolkata Knight Riders pacer Mitchell Starc is in currently and whether the Australia left-arm speedster can justify his price tag, “Anytime you are bought for a decent fee, you want to stamp your authority on the tournament. Not just on the tournament, on your teammates, coaches, owners who have backed you. When you bowl your first two games, that’s 8 overs for 100 and no wickets, that isn’t obviously the sort of start you want. But ultimately, KKR have two wins out of two. I think that’s pretty crucial because they are winning.

If they were none from two; two defeats, and you have gone for a 100 off 8 overs with no wickets, I think there are even bigger question marks coming your way. But one thing; Mitchell Starc is a proven performer. He is someone who is very good at death and with the new ball. He may be lacking a little bit of rhythm, but I think tactically when I am watching him up close at the moment, he is trying to wobble the ball across the right-hander, which yeah, to someone like Virat Kohli, you look to bring in the outside edge. Mitchell Starc’s greatest strength, what have we watched for the last 12 years, he swings it at 145 Ks, back into the stumps. You ask any right-hander. That ball, at that pace, swinging back to the stumps, is one of the most dangerous balls in world cricket. The hardest ball to face.”

 “If I was the KKR bowling coach, I would say, ‘Mitch, forget the price tag. Write me down your three greatest strengths and then stick to them. Stick to what you believe in. The IPL is the hardest league in the world to bowl. You’ve got the best overseas batters, incredible Indian players, you’ve got young stars that come out of nowhere and suddenly whack the ball to all parts, generally quick outfields and small boundaries. It’s a tough place to play. But when your bowler is a star overseas player, you have to come and perform. That’s your job.

Eden Gardens is a very tough place to bowl with the white ball and the Chinnaswamy is ultimately the best places to bat on. He has to find that positivity. You’ve got Klaasen and Sunrisers in your first game and then Kohli in the Chinnaswamy. Can I pick it up from here? But ultimately, get back to what my exact strengths are. Start hitting those stumps, swinging that ball back and hitting off stump, and go back to the strengths that have got you the price tag.”

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