IND vs PAK: Watch - Hardik Pandya gracefully handles uncomfortable 'feels like Mumbai' question post IPL 2024 controversy

Published - 06 Jun 2024, 04:19 PM

Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma
Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma (Image Credits: Twitter)

Team India all-rounder and vice-captain Hardik Pandya faced an uncomfortable question during the mid-inning break of the match Ireland team in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024. Hardik Pandya was questioned about the crowd turnout at the newly built stadium in New York, specifically mentioning Mumbai.

Hardik Pandya encountered backlash while leading the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. MI fans expressed their discontent over Pandya replacing Rohit Sharma as captain. The all-rounder was booed by fans throughout the tournament, including at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

To make matters worse, the five-time IPL champions struggled under Pandya's leadership. The Mumbai-based team became the first to be eliminated from the playoff race. Hardik also failed to deliver with both the bat and ball. He scored 216 runs in 14 matches and took 11 wickets at an economy rate of 10.75.

The 30-year-old cricketer redeemed himself for India in the 2024 T20 World Cup. He scored 40 runs against Bangladesh in India's only warm-up match. The right-arm pacer picked up three wickets for 27 runs against Ireland in four overs. The Men in Blue secured an 8-wicket victory over Ireland in New York on June 5.

It's Always Fantastic To See The Crowd - Hardik Pandya

A presenter asked Hardik Pandya, "It feels like Mumbai here in New York. Is it fun?". The Indian vice-captain stated that an enthusiastic crowd supports Indians worldwide and expressed gratitude for their backing.

"It's always fantastic to see the crowd always coming and supporting us. We Indians are everywhere. We rule the world so it's good to have so much support. So thanks to them," Hardik said.

Hardik Pandya showcased his bowling skills by dismissing Lorcan Tucker and Curtis Campher in the match. He became India's joint third-highest wicket-taker in T20 World Cups after removing Mark Adair. He equaled the record of Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan (16 wickets) in the history of the T20 World Cups.

Always Special To Play For The Country - Hardik Pandya

The Baroda-born cricketer expressed his pride in playing for the country and contributing to World Cups. Hardik Pandya stated that he adjusted his bowling length for the pitch conditions. He emphasized the need for discipline and accuracy on challenging surfaces.

"Always special to play for the country, always good to play for pride. I have been able to contribute in the World Cups; God has been kind. That was an outstanding effort by Axar; those are the catches when you let your hand-eye coordination in. I really liked the first wicket, don't hit the stumps often as I usually bowl short of a length. I needed to be fuller than back of a length today. On this kind of surface, you need to be disciplined and hit the right areas," Hardik added.

Hardik Pandya is expected to play a crucial role for Team India in their upcoming match against arch-rivals Pakistan at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on Sunday, June 9. The all-rounder delivered with both bat and ball in previous World Cup encounters with Pakistan.

Also read: IND vs PAK: Amid controversy, Vikram Rathour expresses confidence in Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma to deal with 'semi-dangerous' New York pitch


India National Cricket Team ICC T20 World Cup 2024 Hardik Pandya Rohit Sharma ICC T20 World Cup