T20 World Cup 2024: Suresh Raina sends Hardik Pandya "perform against Pakistan" message to earn praise from Rohit Sharma's fans

Published - 20 May 2024, 06:01 PM | Updated - 20 May 2024, 06:02 PM

Suresh Raina and Hardik Pandya
Suresh Raina and Hardik Pandya. Image Credit: X

Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya had a really challenging time both as a player and as a captain in the IPL 2024, with the Mumbai Indians (MI) finishing their campaign at the bottom of the points table with only four wins from 14 appearances.

The turmoil for the Mumbai Indians (MI) began with the controversial decision to appoint Pandya as the team's new captain, replacing Rohit Sharma, and this move sparked widespread discontent among fans.

Pandya bore the brunt of the backlash as he encountered jeers from the MI fans at the Wankhede Stadium, resulting in his struggle to make an impact on the field.

Hardik Pandya faces redemption test in T20 World Cup 2024 after flop IPL 2024

The Indian all-rounder could score a mere 216 runs and claim 11 wickets in 14 matches for the MI, as the five-time IPL champions were the first team to be eliminated from the IPL in 2024.

Despite having a forgettable IPL 2024 campaign, Pandya's fortunes took a turn when he was included in India's squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and Caribbean.

However, many have been still questioning Hardik’s selection in India’s 2024 T20 World Cup squad due to his fitness and form, but former Indian stalwart Suresh Raina expressed full confidence in the all-rounder. Raina said that Pandya has the capability to excel on the grand stage, particularly in the highly anticipated clash against arch-rival Pakistan.

Suresh Raina backs Hardik Pandya to shine in ICC T20 World Cup 2024

Suresh Raina was quoted as saying by ANI: “Hardik Pandya has done really well for India. Temporary poor form does not make someone bad. When he will perform well against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup, everyone will praise him.”

Speaking about India’s T20 World Cup squad, Raina said: “The team is balanced. Rohit Sharma is the captain. Virat Kohli is in fine form and Suryakumar Yadav is in good touch. Two left-arm pacers are going, who can bowl in powerplay. Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja are going. However, matches there are at 10:00 AM in the morning. The wickets are also drop-in. The team should get used to these wickets and conditions as soon as possible.”

As Pandya gears up to represent India in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024, starting on June 1, all eyes will be on the dynamic all-rounder to rise above the challenges and deliver standout performances for Team India in the global tournament.

Notably, India is placed in Group A alongside arch-rivals Pakistan, Ireland, and Canada, and co-hosts the USA. The Men in Blue will kick off their T20 World Cup 2024 campaign against Ireland on June 5 at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York, followed by the titanic clash against Pakistan on June 9 at the same venue.

Tagged:

Hardik Pandya Suresh Raina India National Cricket Team ICC T20 World Cup 2024 IPL IND vs PAK Mumbai Indians (MI)