Kieron Pollard ditches Rohit Sharma to support Hardik Pandya despite leadership blunders

Published - 25 Mar 2024, 06:09 PM

Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard
Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard (Image Credits: Twitter)

Mumbai Indians’ batting coach, Kieron Pollard, recently commented on skipper Hardik Pandya’s decision to open the bowling ahead of ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah. Kieron Pollard also shared his opinion on Hardik Pandya batting at number seven against the Gujarat Titans.

Hardik Pandya replaced long-term skipper Rohit Sharma at the helm before the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. However, the all-rounder failed to break the Mumbai Indians’ trend of losing season openers, as they suffered their 12th loss since 2013.

Hardik Pandya Swung The New Ball – Kieron Pollard

Kieron Pollard supported Hardik Pandya‘s decision to open the bowling instead of Jasprit Bumrah. Pollard highlighted Pandya’s experience with the new ball and his effectiveness in previous matches.

 “You have to plan and decide what you want to do as a team. Hardik (Pandya) has also bowled with the new ball for Gujarat over the last couple of years. He swung the new ball and bowled it well, which was nothing new to us. We tried to use the advantage of the new ball swinging along. When I look at the decision made, there is nothing wrong with it, and we move on,” Pollard said at the post-match press conference.

Hardik Pandya bowled the first over ahead of Jasprit Bumrah in Ahmedabad on Sunday, March 24. However, this decision did not yield positive results, as he conceded 20 runs in his two overs. Bumrah came to bowl in the fourth over and provided a breakthrough by dismissing Wriddhiman Saha on the last ball.

Bumrah made a significant impact despite entering the attack later, concluding with impressive figures of 3/14 in four overs. However, Hardik failed to take any wickets in his three overs and conceded 10 runs per over.

We Make Decisions Collectively As One – Kieron Pollard

Kieron Pollard emphasized that the decision for the skipper to bat at number seven was a team decision, not solely Hardik Pandya’s. Pollard explained that decisions are made collectively as a team, including plans for entry points for batters.

“No decision is made on full autonomy, so we can’t say it is his decision. As a team, we have plans; we talk about setting entry points for batters. The top order batted deep into the game, and we also had two power hitters to go in the back end.”

“But all of those things are in hindsight, and as a team, we make decisions, so let’s put a stop to ‘Hardik made a decision, Hardik did this, Hardik did that’. We are a team. We make decisions collectively as one,” Pollard said.

MI appeared poised to secure victory during the chase, with Rohit Sharma (43) and Dewald Brevis (46) laying a solid foundation. The visiting team needed 48 runs from 36 balls with seven wickets in hand. However, their middle and lower-order batters faltered in the crucial death overs.

In a surprising move, the 30-year-old entered the crease at No. 7 in the penultimate over. He played a quick-fire 11 runs off four balls but couldn’t finish the game for his team. He was dismissed in the final over, with nine runs still required off three deliveries.

The Mumbai-based franchise aims to secure their first win in the ongoing season when they face the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Wednesday, March 27.

Also read: Mohammed Shami calls Hardik Pandya ‘tailender’ in a fresh attack on MI captain

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Gujarat Titans (GT) Hardik Pandya IPL 2024 Kieron Pollard Mumbai Indians (MI)