IPL 2024: Kieron Pollard throws weight behind Hardik Pandya

Pollard believes that Pandya should not be blamed for Mumbai’s troubles

By Web Desk
April 15, 2024
Kieron Pollard (R) with Hardik Pandya (L). - Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians batting coach Kieron Pollard has backed captain Hardik Pandya despite a below-par Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 campaign so far.

Pandya, who captained Gujarat Titans to the title in their debut season in 2022, joined Mumbai this season and was named skipper in place of Rohit Sharma.

Rohit won five IPL titles for Mumbai between 2013-20 which is why a large number of fans didn’t agree with the decision to change captaincy and even booed Pandya.

Rohit scored an unbeaten 105 against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday but Mumbai still suffered their fourth defeat in six matches, dropping to eighth in the 10-team league.

Pandya conceded 43 runs in his three overs, 26 of them in the final over of the Chennai innings, while bagging two wickets and scored only a couple of runs during their chase.

However, Pollard believes that Pandya should not be blamed for Mumbai’s troubles.

"I am fed up of (people) looking to pinpoint individuals. Cricket is a team sport at the end of the day," Pollard said after the loss against Chennai.

"This is an individual that is going to represent the country in less than six weeks' time, and all are going to cheer him and want him to do well.

"So it's high time we try to ... stop nitpicking and see if we can get the best out of one of the great all-rounders India has produced. He can bat, bowl and field, and has a X-factor about him.

"I hope, deep down within my heart, that when he comes out on top, I'll sit back and watch everyone sing his praises."

With four away games coming up, Mumbai will have to get back to winning ways in order to stay alive in the race for playoffs.

"We just need to keep our intensity high, be smart about our plans," said Pandya.

"If we can do that, we can get the goal we want."