Former England captain Michael Vaughan expressed his surprise at the hostile reception Hardik Pandya faced from fans in the IPL 2024. Michael Vaughan highlighted the controversy surrounding Rohit Sharma’s potential return as captain of the Mumbai Indians.

Hardik Pandya returned to the Mumbai Indians after a successful two-year tenure with the Gujarat Titans (GT). The star all-rounder was appointed as captain of the MI team, replacing Rohit Sharma, the franchise’s most successful skipper with five IPL titles.

The change in leadership didn’t go well, as Pandya faced widespread boos from the crowd in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. The MI skipper also received a massive amount of booing during their first home match against the Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium.

During the toss against the Rajasthan Royals, the situation intensified, prompting an unusual intervention from presenter and commentator Sanjay Manjreker, who urged the Wankhede crowd to ‘behave’ and give a big round of applause to Hardik Pandya.

Get The Booing When Hardik Pandya Played – Michel Vaughan

In a discussion on the Club Prairie Fire podcast with Adam Gilchrist, Michael Vaughan expressed his surprise at the booing incidents in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad, given the reverence for cricket in India, where such behavior is uncommon.

“The big debate is whether Rohit Sharma will end up back as captain. That has caused a lot of drama here in India. The booing… I have to say, the Indian crowd just loves cricket. I have never heard them boo. I’ve certainly never heard them boo one of their own. I get the booing when he played at (Ahmedabad) against the Gujarat Titans. He’s left them and joined Mumbai. He took them to a title. So I get that in a pantomime kind of way,” Vaughan said.

“But for him to go to Hyderabad and get booed and then come to Wankhede and get booed by the Mumbai Indians fans while he is playing for them, I’m staggered by it. I have never seen the Indian crowd boo one of their own. It’s remarkable,” he added.

I Got Hammered All The Way – Adam Gilchrist

In response, Adam Gilchrist attributed the booing incidents to Rohit Sharma’s influence. Gilchrist recounted his own experience of being booed during his ODI debut for Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground due to replacing Ian Healy.

“It shows you the status that Rohit Sharma has in the game there. I was booed all the way to the wicket and all the way off in my first game for Australia in Australia at the SCG. It was a new look ODI team. Ian Healy had been disposed off as wicketkeeper. I got hammered all the way on to the field. And all the way off. So I know what (Hardik) feels like,” Gilchrist said.

The situation worsened as the Mumbai-based franchise lost its first three matches under Hardik Pandya’s captaincy. Currently positioned at the bottom of the table, they are the only team yet to secure a victory in the ongoing season among the ten competing teams.

The Mumbai-based team is set to clash with the Delhi Capitals in their upcoming fixture at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday, April 7.

Also read: Watch: Adam Gilchrist highlights Virat Kohli’s unbelievable stat to blast RCB

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