Former India, Delhi Capitals, and Punjab Kings opening batsman Virender Sehwag has suggested Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya take inspiration from Rohit Sharma. Sehwag asked Pandya to do so while speaking about the franchise knowing how to turn a setback into a comeback, something they have done on numerous occasions in the previous seasons. Viru’s comments also came at a time when MI suffered their 3rd consecutive defeat of the season.

Everyone was expecting that Mumbai Indians would experience a change in their fortunes in their first home game of IPL 2024 at the Wankhede stadium. Since home teams have had an unprecedented advantage over traveling teams in this edition so far, MI were expected to take advantage of that as well. However, the toss that was won by Hardik Pandya, remained the only thing they won or were superior in against Rajasthan Royals.

As soon as Mumbai’s innings began, the RR bowlers, Trent Boult in particular, were aiming to make full use of the conditions and exploit the blown-up morale of MI batters. The Mumbai top-order could only add up 20 runs on the board before the fall of 4 wickets by the 4th over.

Boult would get rid of Rohit Sharma, Naman Dhir, and Dewald Brevis, all for a golden duck. Ishan Kishan was sent back by Nandre Burger with Hardik Pandya and Tilak Varma having the task of handling things in the middle after the tragic collapse.

Hardik Pandya and Tilak Varma’s scores of 30 were not complemented by lower-middle-order

Following the departure of the first four batters, Hardik Pandya and Tilak Varma tried their best but couldn’t get over the 30-run mark. Pandya departed the crease after scoring 34 off 21 whereas Varma was able to amass 32 off 29. After that, only Tim David scored the most runs – 17 of 24 with MI folding out for 125, thanks to 3 wickets each from Boult and Yuzvendra Chahal, a brace from Nandre Burger, and a single scalp from Avesh Khan.

In response, Rajasthan Royals chased down the total by the 16th over and claimed victory by 6 wickets through another half-century from Riyan Parag. Now with MI losing 3 out 3, their chances of staging a comeback are hanging in the balance as they can afford to lose maybe 2-3 matches more but ideally, they would not want that.

However, if they do lose another few matches then they will have no option but to win every single match. We all know, that doing that is not easy but Mumbai has previously done it.

Virender Sehwag doubts if Pandya can inspire his team to comeback

During his appearance at Cricbuzz’s post-match show last night, Virender Sehwag claimed that Mumbai Indians have a habit of losing their first few matches and then staging a comeback. However, he put fear into Hardik Pandya’s captaincy, claiming that the team that used to fight back was led by Rohit Sharma, and this one is led by Pandya, so there is a major difference.

“Mumbai is a team that loses 3-4 matches but knows how to make a comeback. But that was Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai, not Hardik’s. So this is a pressure on Hardik as to how he can inspire his team to stage a comeback.” – Sehwag said via Cricbuzz. 


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